Posts Tagged ‘politics’

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Welcome to Quiz Day on the fasab blog.

Chocolate, yoghurt and a lot more make up today’s questions.

So why not pour yourself a cup of coffee too and have a go?

As usual, if you get stuck, you can find the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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Q.  1:  What are the names of the two famous Star Wars robots?

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Q.  2:  How many muscles does your body use to balance itself when you are standing still?

            a)  100             b)  200             c)  300             d)  400              e)  500

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Q.  3:  What is the name of the largest and oldest chocolate company in the U.S.?

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Q.  4:  ‘tcby’ now means ‘The Country’s Best Yogurt’ but what did the letters ‘tcby’ originally stand for?

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Q.  5:  Who was the leader of the Macedonian Empire?

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Q.  6:  Time to rack up a lot of points, what were the names of the six principal actors in the long running hit TV series ‘Friends’?  (Bonus points if you can also correctly name the characters they played.)

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Q.  7:  What is the name generally used for the traditional curved blade Japanese sword?

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Q.  8:  Recently they seem to be trying to put it back up again, but in what year was the Fall of the Iron Curtain?

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Q.  9:  Approximately how many pieces of ‘space junk’ are orbiting around Earth?

            a) over 4,000          b) over 6,000          c) over 8,000         d) over 10,000

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Q. 10:  There’s a new one out this year, but how many ‘Planet Of The Apes’ based movies have there been? (Bonus points if you can name them and even more bonus points if know the years they were released.)

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Q. 11:  Which two rivers meet at Khartoum to make the Nile?

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Q. 12:  Who, in 2012, became the first person to break the sound barrier, unprotected and under his own power?

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Q. 13:  During World War II approximately how many tanks were produced by American factories?

            a)  59,000           b)  69,000           c)  79,000           d)  89,000           e)  99,000

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Q. 14:  Who is the current Prime Minister of Canada?

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Q. 15:  Isadora Duncan, known as the mother of modern dance, was killed in an unusual way, how?

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Q. 16:  What is the recommended standard recreational diving limit for ordinary divers?

            a)  20 meters              b)  30 meters              c)  40 meters              d)  50 meters

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Q. 17:  In Las Vegas, what is the name of the ancient Egyptian themed hotel with a pyramid shaped casino?

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Q. 18:  What was the name of the mythical Roman god of war?

 

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Q. 19:  Who was ‘Dr Frasier Crane’ and his brother ‘Dr Niles Crane’? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 20:  What musician is known as “The Boss” and what was the name of the band he played with? (A point for each correct answer.)

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  What are the names of the two famous Star Wars robots?

A.  1:  The two famous Star Wars robots are called 3CP0 and R2D2.

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Q.  2:  How many muscles does your body use to balance itself when you are standing still?

            a)  100             b)  200             c)  300             d)  400              e)  500

A.  2:  Your body uses 300 muscles to balance itself when you are standing still.

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Q.  3:  What is the name of the largest and oldest chocolate company in the U.S.?

A.  3:  The largest and oldest chocolate company in the U.S. is Hershey’s. Founded by Milton S. Hershey in 1894, this company produces over one billion pounds of chocolate products every year.

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Q.  4:  ‘tcby’ now means ‘The Country’s Best Yogurt’ but what did the letters ‘tcby’ originally stand for?

A.  4:  The letters ‘tcby’ originally stood for ‘This Can’t Be Yogurt’, but the name was changed after the company was sued by a rival company called ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt’.

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Q.  5:  Who was the leader of the Macedonian Empire?

A.  5:  Alexander the Great.

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Q.  6:  Time to rack up a lot of points, what were the names of the six principal actors in the long running hit TV series ‘Friends’?  (Bonus points if you can also correctly name the characters they played.)

A.  6:  The six ‘Friends’ were Jennifer Aniston as ‘Rachel Green'; Courteney Cox as Monica Geller; Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay; Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani; Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing; and David Schwimmer as Ross Geller.

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Q.  7:  What is the name generally used for the traditional curved blade Japanese sword?

A.  7:  The traditional curved blade Japanese sword is called a ‘Katana’.

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Q.  8:  Recently they seem to be trying to put it back up again, but in what year was the Fall of the Iron Curtain?

A.  8:  The Iron Curtain fell in 1989.

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Q.  9:  Approximately how many pieces of ‘space junk’ are orbiting around Earth?

            a) over 4,000          b) over 6,000          c) over 8,000         d) over 10,000

A.  9:  The correct answer is c) over 8,000.

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Q. 10:  There’s a new one out this year, but how many ‘Planet Of The Apes’ based movies have there been? (Bonus points if you can name them and even more bonus points if know the years they were released.)

A. 10:  There have been eight planet of the apes movies so far, ‘Planet of the Apes’ (1968); ‘Beneath the Planet of the Apes’ (1970); ‘Escape from the Planet of the Apes’ (1971); ‘Conquest of the Planet of the Apes’ (1972); ‘Battle for the Planet of the Apes’ (1973); ‘Planet of the Apes’ (2001); ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ (2011); and ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ (2014).

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Q. 11:  Which two rivers meet at Khartoum to make the Nile?

A. 11:  It’s easier than you think, the two rivers that meet at Khartoum to make the Nile are the White & Blue Niles.

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Q. 12:  Who, in 2012, became the first person to break the sound barrier, unprotected and under his own power?

A. 12:  Felix Baumgartner became the first person to break the sound barrier, unprotected and under his own power. In his record breaking stunt he reached speeds of up to 834 mph.

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Q. 13:  During World War II approximately how many tanks were produced by American factories?

            a)  59,000           b)  69,000           c)  79,000           d)  89,000           e)  99,000

A. 13:  The correct answer is d) 89,000.

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Q. 14:  Who is the current Prime Minister of Canada?

A. 14:  Stephen Harper.

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Q. 15:  Isadora Duncan, known as the mother of modern dance, was killed in an unusual way, how?

A. 15:  Isadora Duncan was pulled from the vehicle in which she was a passenger and violently slammed against the road when her long scarf got caught in the wheel. Her neck was broken and she died on impact.

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Q. 16:  What is the recommended standard recreational diving limit for ordinary divers?

            a)  20 meters              b)  30 meters              c)  40 meters              d)  50 meters

A. 16:  The correct answer is b) 30 Meters (98 feet), the average depth at which nitrogen narcosis symptoms begin to appear in adults.

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Q. 17:  In Las Vegas, what is the name of the ancient Egyptian themed hotel with a pyramid shaped casino?

A. 17:  It’s called the ‘Luxor’.

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Q. 18:  What was the name of the mythical Roman god of war?

A. 18:  Mars.

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Q. 19:  Who was ‘Dr Frasier Crane’ and his brother ‘Dr Niles Crane’? (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 19:  They were Kelsey Grammar and David Hyde Pierce from the wonderful hit TV sitcom ‘Frasier’.

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Q. 20:  What musician is known as “The Boss” and what was the name of the band he played with? (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 20:  In the music world “The Boss” is Bruce Sprigsteen and he played with the E Street Band.

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What A Flipping President – What A Flipping Mess!!

Posted: August 17, 2014 in Current Events, Politics, Rants, War
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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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President Obama said in June that he would be prepared to “take targeted and precise military action” in Iraq, whatever that meant.

But it’s taken him two months to make the decision. Two months during which Islamist militants have swept through northern and western Iraq and are now threatening Christians in that country with religious conversion or death.

indecisive Obama

So far its not only too little too late, but half-hearted to boot, with Obama saying that the step was being taken to defend US personnel in the city of Irbil and protect religious minorities facing what he called a “potential act of genocide” from the Islamic State, the extremist group most recently known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

There doesn’t seem much “potential” about from the reports I am reading.

convert or die

It’s as if the President’s Administration and his advisors didn’t see it coming!

This belated decision is yet another turning point in the Obama administration’s dreadfully badly thought out foreign policy, which has seen his ratings plummet, both at home and in the eyes of the world.

Even now his administration’s goals remain unclear. For example, is this latest move a tactical decision, or a simple reaction to the consequences of failing to act sooner, or is there a strategy behind it?

I don’t know, and I don’t think anyone else knows, but I fear it is just the former. Sadly, a belated attempt to halt ISIS’s advance toward Irbil won’t be enough – and if I know that, why don’t Obama’s advisors?

Of course, on the other side of the political fence, rather predictably, some of the gung-ho Republicans, always spoiling for a fight (somewhere other than in the US), have quickly jumped on the bandwagon and tried to use this latest debacle to score political points against the President.

gung-ho GOPers

They have criticized Obama’s inaction in Syria and the failure to bolster moderate rebel forces there as contributing to ISIS’s growth. But hang on a moment GOPers, think it through before you speak (this will be new territory to most of them!). If the President had intervened (or rather, been allowed to intervene) in Syria he would have been intervening on the same side as ISIS, not against them.

Then we would have had an even more bewildering situation where US troops would have been fighting with ISIS (effectively) in Syria against Assad and at the same time fighting against ISIS in Iraq trying to stop their genocidal purge of the Christian community there.

It is this kind of utter confusion that has over the past few years greatly diminished America’s global influence and standing.

bush_wmd_cartoon.1

The mess that was left in Iraq after Bush’s invasion on the false premise (the lie) of WMDs, and Obama’s withdrawal of troops on the equally disingenuous premise (another lie) that they had brought peace to the country, is a disgrace.

And unfortunately it sends a message to the world that America is confused, indecisive, deceitful, short-sighted, blundering – in short all the things that you don’t want the world to think about you if you want to be taken seriously.

What a flipping mess!

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It’s the quiz again.

Time to test your knowledge of a wide range of subjects including geography, history, politics, music, movies, sport… even space!

And a lot of muli-pointers to give you the chance of building up a good score.

As usual if you get stuct you can find the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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Quiz 5

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Q.  1: What side of the road do you drive on in Japan, is it on the right (like the USA) or on the left (like Britain)?

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Q.  2: Who won this year’s (2014) Gentlemans and Ladies Singles titles at the world famous Wimbledon Tennis Tournament in England? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get both correct.)

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Q.  3: What is the most distant human-made object from Earth?

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Q.  4: What is the automobile that began as a project between Swatch and Mercedes most commonly known as?

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Q.  5: In the days when countries took control of other nations and territories overseas they were called Empires. Which country at one time controlled the largest Empire in the world (in terms of land area)?

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Q.  6: There are twelve buttons on a touch tone phone. What two symbols bear no digits?

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Q.  7: In which branch of the armed forces did William Hitler, a nephew of Adolf Hitler, serve during World War II?

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Q.  8: One chocolate chip can give you enough energy to walk approximately how many feet?

            a)  50 feet        b)  100 feet          c)  150 feet          d)  200 feet

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Q.  9: Plus or minus ten, The Bahamas consists of approximately how many islands?

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Q.  10: How many ‘Terminator’ movies have there been to date (2014)? (Bonus points if you can name them and the year they were released.)

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Q.  11: Who were the magician duo, known for their magic with big cats, who became the most successful and best known entertainers in Las Vegas?

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Q.  12: How many US Presidents have been assassinated? (A bonus point for each that you can name and even more points if you know where the assassinations took place and the names of the assassins.)

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Q.  13: If you added the number of players in a basket ball team, the number of players in an American football team, the number of players in a soccer team and the number of players in a rugby union team, what would be the total?

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Q.  14: Famous as Bret Maverick and Jim Rockford, who was he?

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Q.  15: What is the collective name for the 26 self-governing districts into which Switzerland is divided?

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Q.  16: The month of August falls within which two Zodiac signs?

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Q.  17: What was the name of the unexpected hit TV series about an unlikely duo who cook methamphetamine?

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Q.  18: Who is the current Prime Minister of Israel?

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Q.  19: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited is currently owned by whom?

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Q.  20: What song by the group Queen made it to number 1 in the British charts twice, in 1976 and 1991?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1: What side of the road do you drive on in Japan, is it on the right (like the USA) or on the left (like Britain)?

A.  1: In Japan you must drive on the left side of the road.

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Q.  2: Who won this year’s (2014) Gentlemans and Ladies Singles titles at the world famous Wimbledon Tennis Tournament in England? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you get both correct.)

A.  2: In the 2014 Wimbledon tennis tournament Novak Djokovic was the winner of the Gentlemen’s Singles and Petra Kvitova was the winner of the Ladies’ Singles.

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Q.  3: What is the most distant human-made object from Earth?

A.  3: The Voyager 1 spacecraft is the most distant human-made object from Earth.

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Q.  4: What is the automobile that began as a project between Swatch and Mercedes most commonly known as?

A.  4: It is called the “SMART car”, an abbreviation of its original code name, the Swatch & Mercedes Art Car.

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Q.  5: In the days when countries took control of other nations and territories overseas they were called Empires. Which country at one time controlled the largest Empire in the world (in terms of land area)?

A.  5: Britain, whose Empire at one stage was 33.2 million km2  (approximately 8.2 billion acres).

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Q.  6: There are twelve buttons on a touch tone phone. What two symbols bear no digits?

A.  6: The star *  and the hash #  buttons have no digits.

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Q.  7: In which branch of the armed forces did William Hitler, a nephew of Adolf Hitler, serve during World War II?

A.  7: Adolf Hitler’s nephew, William, served in the Navy during WWII – the U.S. Navy!

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Q.  8: One chocolate chip can give you enough energy to walk approximately how many feet?

            a)  50 feet        b)  100 feet          c)  150 feet          d)  200 feet

A.  8: The correct answer is c) 150 feet.

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Q.  9: Plus or minus ten, The Bahamas consists of approximately how many islands?

A.  9: The Bahamas consists of approximately 501 islands, give yourself a point if you said anything between 491 to 511.

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Q.  10: How many ‘Terminator’ movies have there been to date (2014)? (Bonus points if you can name them and the year they were released.)

A.  10: There have been four ‘Terminator’ movies to date (2014); they are ‘The Terminator’ (1984); ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ (1991);  ‘Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines’ (2003);  and, ‘Terminator Salvation’ (2009). A fifth Terminator movie is in post production scheduled for release in 2015.

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Q.  11: Who were the magician duo, known for their magic with big cats, who became the most successful and best known entertainers in Las Vegas?

A.  11: Siegfried and Roy.

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Q.  12: How many US Presidents have been assassinated? (A bonus point for each that you can name and even more points if you know where the assassinations took place and the names of the assassins.)

A.  12: Four US Presidents have been assassinated: Abraham Lincoln, in Washington, D.C., on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, by John Wilkes Booth; James A. Garfield, also in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, July 2, 1881, by Charles J. Guiteau; William McKinley, in Buffalo, New York, on Friday, September 6, 1901, by Leon Czolgosz; and John F. Kennedy, in Dallas, Texas, on Friday, November 22, 1963, by Lee Harvey Oswald.

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Q.  13: If you added the number of players in a basket ball team, the number of players in an American football team, the number of players in a soccer team and the number of players in a rugby union team, what would be the total?

A.  13: The answer is 42  (5 + 11 + 11 + 15).

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Q.  14: Famous as Bret Maverick and Jim Rockford, who was he?

A.  14: He was James Garner, who sadly passed away on July 19, 2014.

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Q.  15: What is the collective name for the 26 self-governing districts into which Switzerland is divided?

A.  15: They are called ‘Cantons’.

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Q.  16: The month of August falls within which two Zodiac signs?

A.  16: The zodiac signs for the month of August are Leo (until August 22) and Virgo (from August 23 onwards).

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Q.  17: What was the name of the unexpected hit TV series about an unlikely duo who cook methamphetamine?

A.  17: Breaking Bad. The show originally aired on the AMC network for five seasons, from January 20, 2008 to September 29, 2013.

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Q.  18: Who is the current Prime Minister of Israel?

A.  18: Benjamin Netanyahu. (No points deducted if you get the spelling wrong.)

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Q.  19: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited is currently owned by whom?

A.  19: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of BMW AG.

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Q.  20: What song by the group Queen made it to number 1 in the British charts twice, in 1976 and 1991?

A.  20: “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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“It was the Russians, they’re the ones to blame.”

“It was Putin. He’s the baddie. We can’t let him get way with it!”

 malaysia-airlines-flight-mh17

So go the cries in the US in the aftermath of the shooting down of Air Malaysia Flight MH17 over the Ukraine.

And that was long before any of the facts had been collected and it was known who shot down a plane on a different continent, or why. 

Russia wants (virtual) control of the Ukraine. There isn’t really any doubt about that. For them it is a strategic imperative. Russia’s history has taught it that it needs to be able to control a vast amount of territory, if only to use as a buffer zone against invasion.

The situation is not helped by various US Presidents and Secretaries of State giving Russia assurances that they would not attempt to involve the peripheral former Soviet states in things like NATO – and then trying to do the exact opposite.

It is now widely accepted that the underlying reason for the unrest in the Ukraine and Russia’s reaction is because of US interference in that country, which included helping to overthrow its democratically elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, and replace him with someone who was a virtual puppet of the West.

That was just asking for trouble. And they should have known it.

And they will get trouble, probably much more than they bargained for.

Unfortunately that will impact on ordinary people, like us.

 Major_NATO_affiliations_in_Europe

Just as the US has its beady eyes on bringing the Ukraine and other former Soviet states into pro-Western organizations like NATO, it is equally certain that Putin will have his beady eyes on not only bringing the former Soviet states back firmly under Russian control, but in perhaps expanding his relationships with other parts of Europe.

Putin has the energy reserves to do it. Whilst there is very little in the way of direct trade between the US and Russia, particularly in regard to energy supplies, (Russia is just the United States’ 20th largest trading partner), Europe is largely dependent on Russian gas to keep it going. Over 30 percent of the European Union’s energy supplies come from Russia and the EU is Russia’s largest trading partner.

Russia’s counter strategy, therefore, will obviously be to use its considerable economic influence as leverage to try to break up the NATO alliance and to separate the European power house, Germany, from its Anglo-American alliance.

Putin is being helped by the arrogance of America’s government spooks who thought they could spy on their friends and allies, even going so far as tapping the phone of German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, without there being consequences.  

consequences

Prompted by leaks from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the fallout from America’s spying debacle continues, people have been arrested, and the German government has even ordered the local CIA station chief to pack his bags and leave the country.

Germany may still place some value on its relationship with the US, but not nearly so much as previously, thanks solely to America’s lack of respect for them.

Putin and his advisors know this, even if Obama and Kerry don’t. They see Germany as ready for change. And they may well be right. The German people are angry at the contempt America has shown for them  – just as Americans would rightly have been if the Germans had done the same to them and their President  –  and they are increasingly frustrated at the burden the European Union has become economically.

If the US doesn’t catch itself on and behave differently and with respect towards its foreign friends, it may find that there will be changes it did not expect and certainly did not want.

Kerry Putin Obama

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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We had it with the real estate market. Billions of dollars being lent to people who obviously couldn’t afford it.

We saw the trouble, hardship, misery and financial woes that were caused as credit dried up, real estate prices began to tumble, and bankruptcies and foreclosures increased.

And we know the damage it did to the economy when irresponsible banks and other lenders went bust and almost brought down the entire financial system. 

Smart people would learn from such a situation.

Smart people would never contemplate doing such a thing again.

But despite what they would like to have you believe, bankers are not smart people. They’re dumb and they are greedy, a deadly combination.

bad credit 100 percent financing

As a result of the financial crisis millions of Americans (and people in other countries too) have been left with poor credit scores. Yet remarkably they are now able to easily obtain auto loans from used-car dealers, including some who fabricate or ignore borrowers’ abilities to repay. Even if you are bankrupt or living only on social security, banks like Wells Fargo will lend you thousands of dollars to buy a used car.

It’s called the new sub-prime boom, because the lack of caution resembles the frenzied sub-prime mortgage market before its collapse. And it is already bringing misery to many people who have been suckered into taking out loans that they clearly could not afford.

Worse than that, these sub-prime auto loans often come with terms that take advantage of the most desperate, least financially sophisticated customers, with interest rates that can exceed 20 percent. And many of the loans can be at least twice the value of the second hand cars they are being used to purchase!

wall street car crash

This creates a vicious circle for some borrowers, who still owe money on a car that they are trading in when they purchase another one, meaning that the former debt is rolled over into the new loan and they end up, not just paying too much for their current car, but also continue to pay off the loan on their previous car that they don’t even have!

This is the way loan sharks operate. Eventually you end up borrowing your own money and paying them interest for the privilege!

This surge in sub-prime auto lending is being driven by some of the same dynamics that were at work in sub-prime mortgages. There is a veritable deluge of money pouring into sub-prime autos, as the high rates and steady profits of the loans attract investors.

And just as Wall Street stoked the boom in mortgages, some of the nation’s biggest banks and private equity firms are now feeding the growth in sub-prime auto loans by investing in lenders and making money available for loans.

To quote some of the figures, auto loans to people with bad credit have risen more than 130 percent in the five years since the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, with roughly one in four new auto loans last year going to borrowers considered sub-prime, that is, people with credit scores at or below 640. Wells Fargo, mentioned earlier, made $7.8 billion in auto loans in the second quarter of this year, up 9 percent from a year earlier, and has at least $50 billion in auto loans on its books.

greedy bankers

Even worse, as was the case with sub-prime mortgages before the financial crisis, many sub-prime auto loans are being bundled up into complex bonds and sold as securities by banks to insurance companies, mutual funds and public pension funds. They are all scrambling for these, which in turn creates ever-greater demand for loans, and leads to the banks issuing more and more sub-prime credit.

Unbelievably it’s the same crooks doing exactly the same thing, including using incorrect information about borrowers’ income and employment, so that people who had lost their jobs, or were bankrupt, or living on Social Security, could qualify for loans that they could never afford.

carbuying credit report

Admittedly, the size of the sub-prime auto loan market is only a tiny fraction of the sub-prime mortgage market at its peak, and its implosion would not have the same far-reaching consequences.

For the banks the investors silly enough to buy their bonds, that is.

But the misery is just as great for the people who are suckered into accepting credit they cannot afford.

Illegal it may not be, but immoral it certainly is.

Political leaders who sit astride high horses and purport to be working on behalf of the ordinary people should be doing something about it.

But, as I’ve said before, don’t hold your breath!

obama used car salesman

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Why Are The Bureaucrats Destroying What Made America Great?

Posted: July 20, 2014 in Business, Current Events, Factoids, Politics, Rants
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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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Since the government and bureaucrats in the United States abandoned the business-friendly environment that made the country the greatest and wealthiest nation on earth, and replaced that with a legislative and wealth redistributing strategy that is anything but business-friendly, there has been a growing trend for successful companies to leave the US.

It should have been obvious – and indeed it was – to everyone but the morons in Washington. 

 

obama cartoon big government

The latest to try to make a move out of the United States is the pharmaceutical giant AbbVie, currently based outside Chicago, Illinois, but not for much longer if they get their way.

Using a $53 billion acquisition of the Jersey-registered, Irish-headquartered global specialty biopharmaceutical company “Shire”, a deal that will allow Abbvie to reincorporate elsewhere, it plans to leave the high tax US for a more advantageous business environment.

By making this move and escaping United States tax rates, Abbvie will pay lower taxes on its international earnings, get access to overseas cash more cheaply, and be able to acquire other companies without making their earnings subject to United States taxes.

Abbvie

And Abbvie is not alone.

There has been a rush of companies wanting to get out of the United States. Health care companies in particular, such as Medtronic, Mylan, Actavis, Perrigo, Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Endo, have pursued these “inversion deals”, as they are called, with particular zeal.

The moral of the story is simply this.

When a country forgets what has made it great and instead turns into something quite the opposite, all the reasons for its greatness disappear. And the United States is doing this at a time when it is heavily in debt – the most indebted nation in the world by a long way.

The short-termism of trying to grab as much money as possible from companies and individuals will end in failure and disaster for all. People like Obama try to put a fancy misleading name on it and call it “wealth redistribution”. What it really is, is a major disincentive for anyone to want to set up and do business in the United States.

redistribution-of-wealth

And as you would expect, the idiots in Washington aren’t scratching their heads and wondering why more and more companies are opting to leave the US. Instead the bureaucrats are trying to think of ways to make it illegal for companies like Abbvie to adopt this strategy. 

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew has already sent letters to senior members of Congress, encouraging them to pass legislation halting inversions. The legislation being considered by some lawmakers would be retroactive, and if passed, could impede AbbVie’s ability to reincorporate overseas.

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew

And proving that stupidity is a cross party phenomenon, on Thursday, Senator Orrin G. Hatch, the Utah Republican who is the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, responded to calls from the Obama administration to crack down on inversions by saying he supported a short-term fix, although he suggested that the administration’s initial proposal went too far.

Senator Orrin G. Hatch

It seems fairly logical in my mind that the way to stop this growing exodus, which in the longer term will leave the US a lot poorer and a lot more of its citizens out of work, is to legislate to reduce tax bills, not increase them; to give businesses an incentive to invest and expand in the United States, not to drive them away; and to encourage entrepreneurs to relocate TO the US rather than scramble to get out.

Of course, that’s just in my head. All that is in the heads of the idiot bureaucrats in Washington is self-defeating rubbish like increase minimum wages, increase healthcare contributions, increase taxation, introduce capital controls, increase government bureaucracy so more debt is piled up and the USD$ weakens further, and of course start a few more wars to distract the people from the mess that is being made at home.

So, to pose the question in the title of this post again, why are the bureaucrats destroying what made America great?

Your guess is as good as mine, although while some obviously have malicious intent, I wouldn’t entirely rule out plain old stupidity!

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I hate to have to say “I told you so” (actually I love it), but in last week’s Sunday Sermon I was on a well worn theme of mine, the blundering stupidity of American foreign policy – if you can even call it a policy. Particularly the current American lust for getting involved in the turmoil in the Ukraine. (If you want to recap, click here…)

Russia Ukraine map

I offered the theory that it was not unreasonable for a Russian leader like Putin not to want a fully nuclear armed Ukraine as anything other than an ally on his doorstep. And to try to clarify the position from his point of view I used the example of how America reacted (rightly) when the Russian leader of the 1960s, Khrushchev, tried to do the same thing in Cuba – right on America’s doorstep.

Well, I can’t take a great deal of credit for what happened next. It was an obvious consequence of American interference in Ukraine. Obvious to everyone that is except the morons in Washington.

Yes, Valdimir Putin paid a visit to Cuba this week.

Putin Castro

His message could not be clearer, again to everyone except the Congress, Senate, White House, State Department, and the rest. For their benefit rather than the readers’, Putin’s message is simple  –  if you want to **** in my back yard, then I can **** in yours too.

The Cuban economy is in dire straits. The Russians have already forgiven the substantial multi-$billion debt owed to them and will no doubt follow that up with a new infusion of money to help the country out.

The smart move for America would be to immediately end the now pointless economic embargo of Cuba (the desk drawers of the hypocrites in Washington are full of boxes Cuban cigars anyway!) and open up new friendlier relations. I think America would be surprised just how amenable the Cubans would be to better relations with them.

Box of Cuban Cigars

But they’d better act fast.

If they adopt their usual short-sighted warmongering posture, then Russia’s influence will only get stronger and its presence ever closer to American shores. I don’t think anybody wants that outcome.

So come on America, do something smart this time.

The world is watching!

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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No quiz last week.

Time restraints and watching too much of the world cup in Brazil are to blame.

But not to worry, it’s back today with a vengeance with another twenty brain teasers for you.

Some easy and some quite difficult.

But remember, if you get stuck the answers can be found waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz confused1

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Q.  1:  Which way does water go down the drain, clockwise or counter-clockwise?

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Q.  2:  He starred along side Clint Eastwood in the 1978 movie ‘Every Which Way But Lose’ and in the 1980 sequel ‘Any Which Way You Can’ and he never said a word in either of them. Who was he?

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Q.  3:  What percent of Soviet males born in 1923 didn’t survive World War II?

            a)  20%            b)  40%            c)  60%            d)  80%

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Q.  4:  I’m sure just about everybody in the world has heard of the dreadful USA Patriot Act, but did you know the name was possibly the most unnecessary acronym ever devised? Five points if you can tell me what it stands for.

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Q.  5:  Who was with Sir Edmund Hilary when he first climbed Mount Everest?

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Q.  6:  What soccer player made headline news when he was banned from the Brazil 2014 World Cup for biting an opponent? (Bonus points if you can also name the team he played for and their opposition on that day.)

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Q.  7:  On which sea does Croatia stand?

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Q.  8:  What is the name of the Islamic terrorist organization currently involved in the conflict in Iraq?

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Q.  9:  The famous Wimbledon tennis tournament is currently underway, but who won the Men’s and the Women’s Singles title in 2013? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 10:  What car company built the classic 1955 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe?

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Q. 11:  What were the names of the three stars of the 1966 Italian Spaghetti Western movie “The Good, The Bad And The Ugly”?

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Q. 12:  What team has won the most Super Bowls?

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Q. 13:  What was the name of the woman who married Adolph Hitler shortly before they both committed suicide?

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Q. 14:  This one is a famous city in Brazil and the former capital city of Portugal between the years 1808 and 1821, what is it’s name?

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Q. 15:  Which beats faster, a woman’s heart or a man’s?

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Q. 16:  Where in California were “Doritos” invented?

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Q. 17:  Now a chance to add significantly to your points score, name the seven actors who played the original western movie “The Magnificent Seven”? (Bonus points if you can also name the characters they played.)

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Q. 18:  What US President’s face is on the seldom seen $100,000 bill?

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Q. 19:  In what state is the Western-most point of the contiguous United States located?

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Q. 20:  Who was “A Rock” and “Homeward Bound” during the 1960s?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  Which way does water go down the drain, clockwise or counter-clockwise?

A.  1:  Counter-clockwise (unless you happen to be south of the equator).

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Q.  2:  He starred along side Clint Eastwood in the 1978 movie ‘Every Which Way But Lose’ and in the 1980 sequel ‘Any Which Way You Can’ and he never said a word in either of them. Who was he?

A.  2:  His movie name was ‘Clyde’ and he was an orangutan.

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Q.  3:  What percent of Soviet males born in 1923 didn’t survive World War II?

            a)  20%            b)  40%            c)  60%            d)  80%

A.  3:  The correct answer is d), approximately eighty percent of Soviet males born in 1923 didn’t survive World War II.

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Q.  4:  I’m sure just about everybody in the world has heard of the dreadful USA Patriot Act, but did you know the name was possibly the most unnecessary acronym ever devised? Five points if you can tell me what it stands for.

A.  4:  USA Patriot Act stands for ‘Uniting & Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept & Obstruct Terrorism’. You see even the name is dreadful.

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Q.  5:  Who was with Sir Edmund Hilary when he first climbed Mount Everest?

A.  5:  Sherpa Tensing Norgay. (You can also take a point if you just said ‘Sherpa Tensing’.)

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Q.  6:  What soccer player made headline news when he was banned from the Brazil 2014 World Cup for biting an opponent? (Bonus points if you can also name the team he played for and their opposition on that day.)

A.  6:  His name is Louis Suarez and he played for Uruguay. The opposing team on that day was Italy.

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Q.  7:  On which sea does Croatia stand?

A.  7:  The Adriatic sea.

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Q.  8:  What is the name of the Islamic terrorist organization currently involved in the conflict in Iraq?

A.  8:  It is called ‘ISIS’.

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Q.  9:  The famous Wimbledon tennis tournament is currently underway, but who won the Men’s and the Women’s Singles title in 2013? (A point for each correct answer.)

A.  9:  Andy Murray and Marion Bartoli respectively. Murray was the  first man from Great Britain to win the singles title since Fred Perry in 1936..

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Q. 10:  What car company built the classic 1955 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe?

A. 10:  Mercedes.

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Q. 11:  What were the names of the three stars of the 1966 Italian Spaghetti Western movie “The Good, The Bad And The Ugly”?

A. 11:  They were Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach in the title roles respectively.

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Q. 12:  What team has won the most Super Bowls?

A. 12:  The Pittsburgh Steelers, with six championships.

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Q. 13:  What was the name of the woman who married Adolph Hitler shortly before they both committed suicide?

A. 13:  Eva Braun.

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Q. 14:  This one is a famous city in Brazil and the former capital city of Portugal between the years 1808 and 1821, what is it’s name?

A. 14:  Rio de Janeiro.

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Q. 15:  Which beats faster, a woman’s heart or a man’s?

A. 15:  A woman’s heart beats faster than a man’s.

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Q. 16:  Where in California were “Doritos” invented?

A. 16:  Doritos were first made at the Casa de Fritos at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Using surplus tortillas, the company-owned restaurant cut them up and fried them (as in traditional Mexican chips called totopos) and added basic seasoning, resembling the Mexican chilaquiles, but in this case being dry.

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Q. 17:  Now a chance to add significantly to your points score, name the seven actors who played the original western movie “The Magnificent Seven”? (Bonus points if you can also name the characters they played.)

A. 17:  The Magnificent Seven were Yul Brynner as “Chris Adams”, Steve McQueen as “Vin”, Horst Buchholz as “Chico”, Charles Bronson as “Bernardo O’Reilly”, Robert Vaughn as “Lee”, James Coburn as “Britt”, and Brad Dexter as “Harry Luck”.

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Q. 18:  What US President’s face is on the seldom seen $100,000 bill?

A. 18:  Woodrow Wilson’s face is on the $100,000 bill; these bills were mainly designed for trade between between Federal Reserve banks, but fell out of use with the invention of the wire transfer.

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Q. 19:  In what state is the Western-most point of the contiguous United States located?

A. 19:  The Western-most point in the contiguous United States is located at Cape Alava, Washington.

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Q. 20:  Who was “A Rock” and “Homeward Bound” during the 1960s?

A. 20:  Simon And Garfunkel.

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