MONEY: Africa should stand on its own two feet

July 04, 2005
“For God’s Sake, Please Stop the Aid!”

The Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati, 35, says that aid to Africa does more harm than good. The avid proponent of globalization spoke with SPIEGEL about the disastrous effects of Western development policy in Africa, corrupt rulers, and the tendency to overstate the AIDS problem.

***Begin Quote***

Shikwati: If they really want to fight poverty, they should completely halt development aid and give Africa the opportunity to ensure its own survival. Currently, Africa is like a child that immediately cries for its babysitter when something goes wrong. Africa should stand on its own two feet.

***End Quote***

Like the Hippocratic oath, when you donate to a charity, “first do no harm”.

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JOBSEARCH: the Howard Cosell school of career management circa 2007


Friday, June 01, 2007
Fear Induced Lethargy
Dave Opton

***Begin Quote***

John came up with the phrase “fear induced lethargy” in a communication he was sending to one of the many folks who come to him for free advice regarding their search. John, who, like many of us, has far more experience in looking for a job than he would like, has what some might consider a pretty cynical outlook on a number of things. Said differently, the advice he dispenses from what is clearly a very giving and compassionate heart is neither “warm” nor “fuzzy.” It falls much more into the Howard Cosell school of career management circa 2007. Hence the phrase “fear induced lethargy.”

***End Quote***

But, I don’t have the rug, chew a cigar, or have a Dandy Don Meridith as a foil.

You have to remember that I’m an injineer, and not into “warm” and “fuzzy” “soft people skills”. Want that building built? Great here’s the plan, that’s the schedule, where’s the “go ahead”? I don’t have time, money, attention, or the will to worry if someone’s feelings are a little bruised.

(Although I am much more gentle with students fresh out of school, they don’t pretend to be experienced.)

Humans have the stubbornness of a burro – camel – <insert favorite animal>, and the density of concrete when they want to do what they want to do.

Someone once quipped that “insanity was doing the same thing and expecting different results”. Turkeys can send out tons of paper with no response, and will happily order another ream of paper to send some more.

Turkeys can be like the drunk looking for the lost keys by the light; not where they lost them. “But I got my last job as a junior programmer from Monster” says the CIO with great self-assurance.

Out on my “turkey farm”, ( I see senior people, who claim to be all sorts of great things, stuck in the “slop”. Sometime, like that proverbial mule, you have to give a “stuck turkey” a good swift kick. Actual a lot of harsh words and ruffled feathers, there’s no kicking at the turkey farm.

I’m sorry, but I would hope to be seen as the cute and cuddly Lew Gossage Jr. in an Officer and a Gentlemen. I’d like to salute all my graduated turkeys (135 by my count — since I started counting — who never sent me my dollar!) that are off earning big bucks and don’t much care how mean they thought I was. Heck, they rarely look back. I’m the reminder of Bad Times Past. It’s OK I’m paying off all the people that helped me.

Now excuse me, I have to get back in the slop, and help an old network turkey understand that he has only 15 seconds to “hook” a sucker … err, I mean a hiring manager.


Thanks for the kind words, even if they are a little harsh. ;-)

the big fat old turkey hisself


TECHNOLOGY: The end of the plug?

The end of the plug?
Scientists invent wireless device that beams electricity through your home
Last updated at 12:31pm on 8th June 2007

***Begin Quote***

Scientists have sounded the death knell for the plug and power lead.

In a breakthrough that sounds like something out of Star Trek, they have discovered a way of ‘beaming’ power across a room into a light bulb, mobile phone or laptop computer without wires or cables.

In the first successful trial of its kind, the team was able to illuminate a 60-watt light bulb 7ft away.

***End Quote***

It sounds effective but is it efficient? We don’t need to have to build a grazillion new power plants. I can envision power losses in high percentages. If it broadcasts all the time, then what happens when there is no use for it. A lot of questions between here and declaring the end of power cords. Also, who pays? Every guest charges his cell phone at my expense? Sounds like we need some nuclear reactors. Another great technology sidelined by popular ignorance. (France get 2/3 of its electric power from nuclear reactors.) So there is often a lot of resistance to new ideas.

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Just to call your attention to a neat use of Skype.

Recently Frau was in the ER. Aside from being banned, cell phones weren’t working that well. I assume the building and well as all the electronics around were part of the reason. The fact it was around the corner from an XRAY MRI lab may account for why we were all “glowing”.

Any way, Frau wanted to talk to some relatives.

(Hey what else does one do during the 7 hour wait? If this is far better than socialized medicine, you can keep Hillary care!)

So, I had the idea to Skype. I had my laptop up on the hospital wifi, so I brought up skype, plugged in the headphones, and poof she was talking to relatives.

Everyone reported the calls clear and crisp.

For fun I went up on VWBBie (Verizon Wireless Broad Band) and it worked to. I could have opened my own phone booth.

(Maybe I should have called the ER doc on the phone and asked for them to shake a leg! I could have called the aide. That’d have been a hoot!)

Any way something to keep in mind if you’re stuck for a phone.

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Dear fellow turkey,

OK campers, campadres, and fellow turkeys,

I shot my mouth off and said things like … “we” need more focus on the methodology of job search, the strategy in a search, the tactics to use in a search, and the technology of the tools of job search.

And this is what you get for being a big mouth.

I’m going to try to “help” you understand what I am babblling about.

Lest you think that I am just your average horse’s petute, I have been through “transition” many times. Yup many! Two voluntarily, one semi-voluntary, and two involuntarily. Others can’t even remember or categorize!

I’ll try to help you understand what I have learned. And, some of the “beliefs” that I hold.

The is all offered with the spirit of a fellow seeker. While I am “in” right now, I could be “out” in a wink. See I am one of those strange oddballs who think that “transition” can be a source of earnings.

If you are organized and prepared, then think of it as being paid not to work!

I will explain in future messages.

Please feel free to tell me I’m nuts. You won’t be the first and you won’t be the last. I promise to not be insulted. ;-)

AS ALWAYS, take everything offered with a large grain of NaCl. Your mileage can, and will vary!

And, as Frau Reinke reminds me often:

— when “OUT”, “if you’re so smart, then why are you UNEMPLOYED”!

— when “IN”, “if you’re so smart, then why aren’t you RICH”!


FWIW, all free advice is just that,
yet another fellow turkey
just bigger and dumber


A New Angle on Adding Value
By Dominic Dodd and Ken Favaro

Most companies fail to add value to their business units. Typically, they end up choosing between improving performance vertically, by giving their business units greater autonomy, or doing so horizontally, by increasing centralization. To achieve greater performance, managers should focus on strengthening their company’s diagonal value.

RANT: Socialist agendas have considerable appeal, but they produce disaster

Compassion Versus Reality
By Walter E. Williams
Wednesday, June 6, 2007

*** begin quote ***

He pointed out that liberals succeed in duping the public because they are so clever with words that they give the appearance of compassion. Liberals talk about the need for “affordable” housing and health care. They tarnish their enemies with terms such as “price-gouging” and “corporate greed.” Uninformed and unthinking Americans fall easy prey to this demagoguery.

Politicians exploit public demands that government ought to do something about this or that problem by taking measures giving them greater control over our lives. For the most part, whatever politicians do, whether it’s rent controls to produce “affordable” housing, or price controls to eliminate “price-gouging,” the result is a calamity worse than the original problem. For example, two of the most costly housing markets are the rent-controlled cities of San Francisco and New York. If you’re over 40, you’ll remember the chaos produced by the gasoline price controls of the 1970s. Socialist agendas have considerable appeal, but they produce disaster, and the more socialist they are, the greater the disaster.

*** end quote ***

Williams is sure on his game this week.

I’m over 40, and wow do I remember the gas lines. I was working and driving from Bayonne to Piscataway every day. My car had even plates and my brother in law had odd. Everyday we switch cars and Frau Reinke would go wait in a gas line. Argh! Remember. I remember the compete and utter chaos.

Give me the free market anytime!

No greedy corporation could inflict such pain. Only the gooferment could!

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*** begin quote ***

A May 15 story in The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio) serves as a good reminder of how a person’s support for gun control often changes after a personal experience with crime. State Representative Michael DeBose (D-12) of Cleveland was an opponent of Right-to-Carry, having voted against the measure twice. All that changed on the night of May 1, when he was confronted by two men, one of whom was wielding a gun. On that night, Rep. DeBose’s sense of security in his neighborhood changed, as did his view on lawful citizens being able to defend themselves.

*** end quote ***

Now it’s like the old jokes we hear. “I’m assertive; she’s pushy.”

“I can defend myself; you are a victim”.

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PRODUCTIVITY: There are absolutes


***Begin Quote***

>What I thought was right yesterday might be wrong today. What I
>thought is wrong today would be right tomorrow. There is no
>(constant) right or wrong answer. It is all about feeling.

When I was in school, too long ago, the good sisters and brothers, beat into me, literally, that emotions, feelings, and opinions just get one into trouble. There are facts, which are usually rarely in dispute (i.e., that bomb killed those people). There are principles, which also are rarely in dispute (i.e., thou shalt not kill). And there are conclusions (i.e., that bombing was immoral).

I would gently disagree that what was “right” yesterday would be “wrong” today. We may find that our facts were in error. And, we should correct the results as best we can the results of our error ensuring that we don’t make that mistake again.

Unfortunately, like with the death penalty, it’s hard to “fix” that genre of deadly mistake.

As an injineer, I would NEVER tell a Philosopher they were “wrong”. Or, yell “barbara streisand”! I would say that we had differences in the input data, principles used, and results computed.

the big fat old turkey hisself

***End Quote***

Unless one is mentally ill, one doesn’t deliberately make “mistakes”. Maybe it is my Catholic School upbringing, but I, like Plato, think there are absolutes. The most telling argument, I ever heard about, was from some writer, who described, a session, where he asked adversaries, to sit quietly with their eyes closed and “listen to their soul” tell them what is right and wrong.

Anyone remember that book?

So, “be still” and know.

There are absolutes.

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