Friday, November 30, 2012

No Wonder Their Cars Are So Small!

Via Bloomberg Businessweek, "Investors reacting to the Hong Kong government’s campaign to curb home-buying in the world’s most expensive market are shifting money into parking spaces, pushing up prices that in high-end neighborhoods can match the cost of two U.S. homes. The average price of a previously owned parking spot in residential complexes rose 6.7 percent to US$82,600 in the third quarter, the second highest on record, from the prior three months. A space in the exclusive Repulse Bay area sold in May for US$387,000, the most for a single transaction and more than double the median U.S. home price, according to, a website that tallies parking-spot information. “There’s just too much liquidity in the market,” said Simon Lo, at property broker Colliers International. “The government has set up a firewall for residential properties, but all this money still needs to find a place.” Most parking spaces in Hong Kong, including those inside residential complexes, are freely transferable with separate ownership titles from the apartments. Hong Kong banks normally lend a maximum 50% of a parking space’s value, compared with 70% for residential properties. A parking space at Lohas Park, a middle- to low-end residential project in the city’s northeast, sold for HK$910,000. The space is being leased for HK$3,300 a month, equating to a yield of about 4.4 percent. By contrast, a 900-square-foot apartment in the same project is being sold for HK$5.18 million. With a monthly rental of HK$15,000, the yield is around 3.5 percent. There were more than 8,300 parking space transactions in Hong Kong in the first 10 months of this year, accounting for 8.9 percent of all property deals. That percentage is the highest since records were first kept in 1997. “The numbers suggest there’s a negative correlation between parking spaces and homes,” said Buggle Lau, chief analyst at Midland. “The taxes have driven investors away from buying apartments.” Borrowing costs in Hong Kong are almost at record lows because the Hong Kong dollar’s peg to the U.S. currency ties monetary policy to the Federal Reserve’s even as the economy is driven by China’s growth. The city’s biggest lenders charge an average 2.15 percent on home loans, below the city’s inflation rate of 3.8 percent. “At this interest rate nobody wants to leave their money in the bank,” said Wong Leung-sing. “When you try and stop people from investing in homes they have to find something else."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Is Kokanee Brewery On To Something Big?

According to a press release by DNA Diagnostics Inc., a study conducted by a team led by Dr. Melba Ketchum of Nacogdoches, TX., has confirmed that Bigfoot is a relative of the human species that arose about 15,000 years ago. The press release describes Ketchum as a veterinarian with 27 years of experience in genetics research, including forensics, who has previously been published as a participant in mapping the equine genome. The release says she began testing the DNA of purported Sasquatch hair samples 5 years ago. The release reads: "A team of scientists can verify that their five-year-long DNA study, currently under peer-review, confirms the existence of a novel hominin hybrid species, commonly called 'Bigfoot' or 'Sasquatch,' living in North America. Researchers' extensive DNA sequencing suggests that the legendary Sasquatch is a human relative that arose approximately 15,000 years ago as a hybrid cross of modern Homo sapiens with an unknown primate species." Dr. Ketchum said: “Our study has sequenced 20 whole mitochondrial genomes and utilized next generation sequencing to obtain 3 whole nuclear genomes from purported Sasquatch samples. The genome sequencing shows that Sasquatch mtDNA is identical to modern Homo sapiens, but Sasquatch nuDNA is a novel, unknown hominin related to Homo sapiens and other primate species. Our data indicate that the North American Sasquatch is a hybrid species, the result of males of an unknown hominin species crossing with female Homo sapiens." Ketchum claims that Sasquatch nuclear DNA is "incredibly novel" with "distinctly" non-human, non-archaic hominin, and non-ape sequences. Ketchum described the DNA as "a mosaic of human and novel non-human sequence." Ketchum claims that their test has ruled out Homo neanderthalis and the Denisova hominin as contributors to the purported Sasquatch mtDNA or nuDNA. Ketchum said: "The male progenitor that contributed the unknown sequence to this hybrid is unique as its DNA is more distantly removed from humans than other recently discovered hominins like the Denisovan individual." Ketchum suggests that the "males of an unknown hominin species" had sex with modern human females and produced the North American Sasquatch. The Register reports that Ketchum said the samples used came from researchers tracking Bigfoot. Read more:

Friday, November 23, 2012

Calgary Sun Exposes The Real Justin Trudeau

"OTTAWA - In the wake of Liberal MP David McGuinty's anti-Alberta comments this week, a 2010 interview with Liberal leadership hopeful Justin Trudeau raises the issue about whether that attitude is baked into the DNA of the federal Liberal party In November 2010, Trudeau told a Quebec television show that he was tired of Albertans running the country and that, whether it was Jean Chretien or Brian Mulroney, Canada is better off when Quebecers are running the country.
"Canada isn't doing well right now because it's Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda. It doesn't work," Trudeau said in French to interviewer Patrick Lagace on the Tele-Quebec program Les francs-tireurs (The Straight Shooters).  Lagace then asked Trudeau if he thought Canada was "better served when there are more Quebecers in charge than Albertans?"
Trudeau replied: "I'm a Liberal, so of course I think so, yes. ... This country - Canada - it belongs to us." “This is another reflection of the arrogance of the Liberal Party, its divisiveness,” Immigration Minister – and Alberta MP – Jason Kenney told reporters outside the House of Commons Thursday.
“It brings back for many Westerners the kind of arrogance of the National Energy Program which of course devastated the Western economy.” Linda Duncan, the only NDP MP from Alberta, said it gives voters in her province another reason to reject the Liberals. “I just find it unbelievable that an elected official could say that and have that kind of an attitude about our province,” Duncan said.
On Tuesday, McGuinty accused Conservative MPs from Alberta of "shilling" for the Alberta oil and gas industry. "They are national legislators with a national responsibility," McGuinty told Sun Media in an interview Tuesday, "but they come across as very, very small-p provincial individuals who are jealously guarding one industrial sector ... the oilsands business specifically, as one that they're going to fight to the death for. "They really should go back to Alberta and run either for municipal council in a city that's deeply affected by the oilsands business or go run for the Alberta legislature." On Wednesday, McGuinty apologized for his comments and resigned his position as the Liberal natural resources critic. -with files from Jessica Murphy and Daniel Proussalidis" This article has been edited by The Balf.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Out of the Mouths of Babes Dept.

From Zero Hedge this morning: "Recently in Spain it was reported that a teacher asked one of her students what his father did for a living. The little boy said his father did a striptease in one of the clubs in Madrid. The teacher was shocked and asked if this was true. The young fellow said, “No, he is the head of corporate credit for Bankia but I am too embarrassed to tell anyone.” "

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ron Paul - What Could've Been

Libertarian Ron Paul is very conservative.  On immigration, he favors ending birthright citizenship and reducing the number of newcomers until the welfare state is dismantled.  He says abortion law should be settled at the state level, but introduced the Sanctity of Life Act to define life as beginning at conception.  He champions the Bill to Audit the Fed and would like to fire Fed Chairman Bernanke.  Unlike Obama, Romney, Ryan and Biden; he served in the military.  He wants military spending cuts, yet still raised more money from active military personnel than all his competitors combined.  Ron Paul's popularity among younger voters - he’s called a “rock star” on the college circuit - stems from the idealism of his politics. Kids rally behind his faith in the future, belief in the individual and confidence in bottom-up decision-making.  Had Romney picked Paul as his running mate, Obama’s youth voter outreach would have imploded.  It would take 77 days to watch all 221,595 election TV ads aired in Ohio, but the data indicates that there was no return on either party’s investment.  Had Romney named Ron Paul as his running mate and Paul picked up just the number of primary votes he received; Romney would have won Ohio, Virginia, and New Hampshire.  Ron Paul’s viral support among college students and singles would have also registered millions of new Republicans, generated volunteers to man thousands of more campaign Republican Headquarters and probably sent Barack Obama into permanent retirement.  Republicans have been humiliated again and are being forced to go through the painful self-reflection that they have no one to blame except themselves for losing to Obama.  Hopefully, they will learn from their mistakes and revive a very effective community organizing strategy for youth around Ron Paul’s Libertarian beliefs that standing for freedom brings people together and Liberty is popular.  (adapted from a Testosterone Pit article by Chriss Street)  OF COURSE, WE'LL NEVER KNOW IF RON PAUL WOULD'VE ACCEPTED.  (I doubt that he would have.)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Why Are Muslims So Backward and Powerless?

Dr. Farrukh Saleem
Dr. Farrukh Saleem is a Pakistani journalist, freelance columnist, and political analyst. Originally a financial professional by occupation, he managed an eight figure equities portfolio invested in the New York Stock Exchange between the years 1988 and 1994. Saleem has been a columist for The News International, Pakistan's largest English-language daily, for over 5 years. Prior to that, he wrote weekly columns for the Dawn newspaper in 1996. Throughout 1996, he also worked as a correspondent on issues related to Pakistan, India, and Iran for the Vancouver Sun, a Canadian newspaper. Farrukh Saleem has additionally been a guest columnist for the Hong Kong-based Far Eastern Economic Review. He has served as the CEO of Dominion Stock Funds Limited, a KSE-listed company, and currently lives in Islamabad. He is the Pakistani Executive Director of the Centre for Research and Security Studies, a think tank established in 2007. This article originally appeared in 2009.
     We Muslims must wonder why is it that only Muslim States like Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya are being attacked by the Christian West. Why do we get pushed around by them with the former President of the US George Bush calling it a crusade? Why is it that Muslim States often depend on the West for survival, even Saudi Arabia, the epicentre for Islamic fundamentalism (i.e. Wahabism) is dependent on American largesse for their survival? While they preach Wahhabi Islam all over the world, they allow American bases within a few hundred kilometres from the Holiest Shrines of Islam. There are an estimated 1,476,233,470 Muslims on the face of the planet: one billion in Asia, 400 million in Africa, 44 million in Europe and six million in the Americas. Every fifth human being is a Muslim. For every single Hindu there are two Muslims, for every Buddhist there are two Muslims and for every Jew there are one hundred Muslims. Ever wondered why Muslims are so powerless? Here is why: There are 57 member-countries of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), and all of them put together have around 500 universities; one university for every three million Muslims. The United States has 5,758 universities and India has 8,407. In 2004, Shanghai Jiao Tong University compiled an 'Academic Ranking of World Universities' and intriguingly, not one university from Muslim-majority states was in the top 500. As per data collected by the UNDP, literacy in the Christian world stands at nearly 90% and 15 Christian-majority states have a literacy rate of 100%. A Muslim-majority state, as a sharp contrast, has an average literacy rate of around 40% and there is no Muslim-majority state with a literacy rate of 100%. Some 98% of the 'literates' in the Christian world had completed primary school, while less than 50% of the 'literates' in the Muslim world did the same. Around 40% of the 'literates' in the Christian world attended university while no more than 2% of the 'literates' in the Muslim world did the same. Muslim-majority countries have 230 scientists per one million Muslims. The US has 4,000 scientists per million and Japan has 5,000 per million. In the entire Arab world, the total number of full-time researchers is 35,000 and there are only 50 technicians per one million Arabs. (in the Christian world there are up to 1,000 technicians per one million). Furthermore, the Muslim world spends 0.2% of its GDP on research and development, while the Christian world spends around 5% of its GDP. Conclusion: The Muslim world lacks the capacity to produce knowledge! Daily newspapers per 1,000 people and number of book titles per million are two indicators of whether knowledge is being diffused in a society. In Pakistan, there are 23 daily newspapers per 1,000 Pakistanis while the same ratio in Singapore is 360. In the UK, the number of book titles per million stands at 2,000 while the same in Egypt is 20. Conclusion: The Muslim world is failing to diffuse knowledge. Exports of high technology products as a percentage of total exports are an important indicator of knowledge application. Pakistan's export of high technology products as a percentage of total exports stands at 1%. The same for Saudi Arabia is 0.3%; Kuwait, Morocco, and Algeria are all at 0.3%, while Singapore is at 58%. Conclusion: The Muslim world is failing to apply knowledge. Why are Muslims powerless? Because we aren't producing knowledge, diffusing knowledge, and applying knowledge. And, the future belongs to knowledge-based societies. So, why are Muslims so powerless? Answer: Lack of education.

Thursday, November 1, 2012