Memorable comparison

Sunday afternoon our minister made a memorable comparison between soon to be sole ruler for life of the entire Roman Empire Julius Caesar and Jesus Christ. After the battle of Zela, Julius Caesar send a message to the senate containing a few words, which would become his most quoted words, and one the most quoted of mankind: veni, vidi, vici. I came, I saw, I won.

Our minister compared this with the words in his text, Luke 19:41, where the King of kings beheld his enemies, who would crucify him in a few days: he came, he saw, he wept.

Credit crisis?

I do not know who invented the word credit crisis, but it must have been a smart politician. It's the worst misnomer one can use for what is happening right now. Who isn't suffering from lack of credit? Except if you're a multi-millionair, and you probably need a few dozen millions, everyone lacks sufficient cash.

But how bad is this supposed lack of credit? Some interesting news from New Zealand:

The survey also suggested the credit crunch may not be as widespread as thought.

First question, why is that thought widespread? Might that not be due to clueless journalists in the NZ Herald? The article continues:

The companies were asked about recent incidents where credit lines were withdrawn, or applications for debt financing or a credit injection were rejected.

Between 8 and 10 per cent of respondents considered the rejection to be unjustified, given their current and likely future profitability.

This was a negative outcome, but not as significant as generally believed, O'Reilly said.

Indeed. Credit is widely available. Except if you are not credit-worthy. And that's a change from the past.

If it keeps moving, regulate it

Banks were regulated, and have became disaster areas. Hedgefunds weren't regulated, and did fine. That's a problem of course in the European Union, so they're now clamping down on the hedge funds as they represent "systemic risks":

The concerted attack on hedge funds is ominous for the City, which commands 21pc of global hedge fund business and four-fifths of Europe's total. While the UK's 900 funds have taken a beating over the last 18 months, they have fared better than banks. Their average leverage is far lower, and though down 19pc last year, they easily beat global stock indexes.

Do as I say, not as I do

European politicians don't pay their taxes:

There was also widespread failure to comply with tax, company and social security laws. Nearly 80 per cent of transactions that should have been subject to VAT displayed no evidence of either VAT payment or exemption.

Maybe that is why the European Parliament voted to keep this report secret. The biggest tax cheats are politicians it seems, not Joe the plumber.

Ik lag en sliep gerust

Een van de psalmen die we zongen tijdens het concert ten bate de Stichting Ontmoeting was Psalm 3: "Ik lag en sliep gerust, Van 's Heeren trouw bewust, Tot ik verfrist ontwaakte". Stichting Ontmoeting richt zich op dak- en thuislozen. Ik vroeg me af hoe toepasselijk zo'n psalm was, en onder welke omstandigheden David dit geschreven had. Dat blijkt dus te zijn toen hij van huis en haard verdreven was en op vlucht was van zijn zoon Absalom.

Copyright law introduction suspended

Kiwiblog reports that the introduction of the new Copyright ACT will be delayed for at least 1 month.

How many companies have gone bankrupt after trying to implement SAP?

The amount of money companies spend trying to implement SAP is truly staggering. I wouldn't be surprised if more companies have gone bankrupt trying to implement SAP then those who have survived it. Implementing SAP is one of the highest paying jobs you can have in IT industry without knowing anything. That companies pay thousands a day for 'consultants' whose productivity is so shockingly low, has always amazed me. If a company announces it is going to implement SAP, it's a good bet to short it's stock.

To the list of SAP failures, we can now add the State of California:

Just this January, the SCO announced that it was canceling its contract with the consulting company in charge of the project and had not estimated when it would hire another firm to carry on. That was $25 million into an estimated $69 million project.

SAP blames Accenture for problems with SAP installations:

Earlier this month, SAP co-CEO Leo Apotheker angrily denied there were problems with SAP's software, and blamed consulting firms like IBM (IBM) and Accenture (ACN) for sending people who knew nothing about the software to clients as experts on SAP.

Accenture wasn't involved in this project though, but has already acquired parts of BearingPoint, the consulting firm who implemented the product and filed for bankruptancy this week.

Ah, maar nu de rechtsere kranten

In de vorige post vergelijkt nu.nl zich met de andere linkse sites. Als we nu het RD en de Telegraaf erbij nemen, krijgen we een iets ander beeld:

Het RD is compleet onzichtbaar, en de Telegraaf doet het niet zo slecht vergeleken met nu.nl.

Zeer inzichtelijk artikel waarom kranten zullen verdwijnen

nu.nl, vele malen meer gelezen dan welke kranten site dan ook, legt uit waarom het afgelopen is met de kranten:

Maar zoals monniken niet massaal drukkerijen begonnen na het uitvinden van de drukpers, zo lijken journalisten en hun bazen last te hebben van de wet van de remmende voorsprong. Digitale kennis is vaak maar matig aanwezig. Uiterst gevaarlijk voor het vak als geheel.

Zeer detailleerd artikel en met een zeldzaam inzicht geschreven:

De houding dat een krantenredacteur wel even internet erbij kan doen als deze heeft geleerd hoe je een pc moet aanzetten, is helaas wijd verspreid. Toen Trouw door eigen toedoen uit Google werd gegooid, duurde het bijzonder lang voordat de webredactie van die krant dit doorhad. Achteraf verantwoordelijkheid nemen was er ook niet bij.

Silencing the critics

It seems that the Obama administration will continue a most effective means of silencing critics, branding them as racists:

Barack Obama's attorney general Eric Holder has branded the United States a "nation of cowards" who are "voluntarily socially segregated" along race lines.

...

Acknowledging that Mr Obama's election made the US "fundamentally different", he lamented the fact that the nation "still had not come to grips with its racial past, nor has it been willing to contemplate, in a truly meaningful way, the diverse future it is fated to have".

Let me see, the US has a black president, has had a black everything, and still the nation isn't different from 50 years ago? Who actually are the people that continually see and mention race? It seems this is going to be the theme the Obama administration will use: if you disagree, you're still stuck in the racial past. End of debate.

Blog down on Monday February 23

This blog will participate in the protest about a new copyright law that comes into effect on February 28, and will therefore by down on Monday February 23. More here.

New Zealand's new Copyright Law presumes 'Guilt Upon Accusation' and will Cut Off Internet Connections without a trial. Join the black out protest against it!

Deflation or inflation?

An interesting economic question is if we will experience inflation or deflation. Karl Denninger expects deflation:

You have to love the media this morning; the PPI was released to great fanfare with the claim that it showed..... inflation.

Oh really?

The Austrian economists expect inflation:

This very well could be the turning point, the end of the downward price pressure in most sectors, inflicted by the downturn, and the beginning of what could eventually become a wicked and devastating hyperinflation.

Who is right? I really don't know. I expected high inflation, but I'm not so sure of that anymore.

Deflation is usually sold as bad, but what is bad about things getting cheaper? Deflation is bad if you're in debt of course. That's why governments like inflation: they can inflate themselves out of their debt: if you have $1 trillion in debt, you just destroy your currency and hyperinflate out of your debt. If governments had money, they wouldn't like inflation, because with inflation, if you have money, it gets worthless.

Ice scating again

We really enjoyed an afternoon at the only artificial Outside ice scating rink in the world. It's a very nice concept: you can still enjoy the outdoors and don't have to wait for a couple of minus 10 degrees nights. Also very natural, meandering through pastures and maize fields. You can chose to follow a 5 or a 3 km path, I managed to skate about 14-15 km. Don't know if I will be able to move tomorrow....Unfortunately we forgot to take the camera.

First school holildays

This week the children had their first week of holidays. We didn't do much the first day as we all enjoyed a relaxed day. Tuesday Anne Roos and I went to Aagje (Berends' sister). She is very creative and has her own business where she gives workshops in jewellery, mosaic, decoupage etc. We had a very nice day just trying different things and techniques. Anne Roos decoupaged a horse, she made a necklace and a bracelet. I did some shadowpainting and tried also the decoupage. Got some nice ideas for future projects at Tyndale. Pictures will follow tomorrow.

Ice Skating again

Today we went Ice Skating. First we went to Arwin and Marlies (my uncle and auntie) which was about an 25 minute drive (Anne Roos was already there as she had slept over). Then we had lunch there which was nice. After that we drove to Biddinghuizen where the Ice Skate ring was. It was really fun and Mum, Dieuwe, Arwin and me all skated 14 km (me all on ice hockey skates).

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