Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Apple posts the largest quarterly profit in history, US$ 18 bn

According to Financial Times of the UK, the surge was due to iPhone sales (iPhone 6 was launched), 74.5 million units, though iPad sales are apparently not as buoyant. The total number of iOS devices sold by Apple since 2007 is now a billion. Apple's stock price is US$ 116.49 just now, and market capitalisation is US$ 679.17 bn.

A vid:




Food for thought. END

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Matt 24 watch, 255 : Egypt's President Al-Sisi calls for reformation of Islam, at the leading Islamic University Al-Azhar (which is in Egypt)

MEMRI has thoughtfully clipped and subtitled a challenge issued to Al Azhar University by Egypt's president Al Sisi:




Newsmax summarises key points:
In a bold yet little-reported speech, The President of Egypt has directly confronted Islamic leaders in his country and challenged them to stand against extremism in their religion.
"We are in need of a religious revolution," President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi told imams on New Years Day at al-Azhar University in Cairo. The speech commemorated the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.

"You, imams, are responsible before Allah," el-Sisi said. "The entire world … is waiting for your next move … because [the Islamic world] is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost — and it is being lost by our own hands." . . . . 


"We have to think hard about what we are facing," he said. "It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible!
"Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants — that is 7 billion — so that they themselves may live? Impossible!

"You cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset," el-Sisi said. "You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.”
 That is both sobering and refreshing. But, obviously Al Sisi is putting his life on the line to speak out like this.

And, we need to ask ourselves just why it is, we have not had this speech headlined as focal world news. 

For, surely, this is a pivotal statement. END

PS: And, it is time for us to be thinking about the true religious revolution -- the good news of Jesus:

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel from Slaves4Christ on Vimeo.

Crude oil price trend now in mid $40's -- shale oil lockout?

A snapshot of crude oil price trends for West Texas Intermediate over the past twelve months is revealing:



 This is now at a point where even the least cost shale oil producers should be concerned.

Let us follow the trend, to see if prices will rebound as shale oil gets locked out. END

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Current Crude Oil price -- good new year news!

Just now, I took a snapshot from the right hand column of this blog:



Amazing, and good news for us, as this trend indicates a strong downward pressure on oil, which has dropped by 50% in recent months.

Of course, it is likely that the Saudis are trying to squeeze the shale oil providers (whose profitability points seem to range from about US$40 to 70/bbl), and the frackers, but this directly implies that they face competition. 

Serious competition.

On the analogy of the 1980's, this may be a sign that the global economy is likely to pick up steam over the next several years, overcoming the prolonged stagnation and waves of crises since about 2008, when oil surged as the market tightened and as the Saudis controlled what little spare capacity there was.

Notice, the global oil consumption trend:




For many of us in the Caribbean, the reduction in cost of oil suggests a rise in travel, hence tourism. As well, prices will trend down or at least less inflationary.

On the whole, good news. END

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A blessed, thoughtful Christ-mas to one and all . . .

Video:



(For more, cf. here at UD.) END

PS: For those who think such is a mere fairy-tale to be brushed aside or laughed off, please take time to view (and, click onwards from the UD link):

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel from Slaves4Christ on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My response to the false claims and suggestions in the MLA, November 25th 2014

Now that my response to accusations made by abuse of parliamentary privilege in the MLA has been published in the local newspaper of record (and so will be permanently archived by the local public library), I reproduce it here, adjusting for the security needs of a troll-infested Web:

______________

>>RESPONSE, FOR RECORD:

Time for a Temple Cleansing

by GEM, MSc, MBA
The Kairos Initiative,

November 29, 2014

On Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 – a date that shall live in dishonour – I was utterly astonished to hear my family name called in thinly veiled form, on ZJB Radio.

This, during a string of accusations being made against the PDM government by the new, MCAP Opposition Leader. Having set a context of alleged cronyism and claimed documents and sources, the Opposition Leader proceeded to associate my family name and my practice of policy advice consultancies with the notion of a proposed shady consultancy of EC$ 250,000.

In fact, I have made no such proposal.

On cross-checking, no relevant responsible officer of the Government has been authorised to propose such an offer.

On track record (for instance with developing the 2008 – 2027 Energy Policy), I have consistently charged well below market rates when I have done consultancies for Montserrat; given the volcano plight we all face. Any alleged document showing such a $250,000 shady proposal is therefore either twisted utterly out of context into falsehood, or it is a plain out and out fabrication and dirty trick. If instead, such grave and questionable accusations were made based on little more than irresponsible office gossip, that is even worse. (I note, as a key moral principle, that: to lie is to speak in disregard to truth, in hope that what is said or suggested will be taken as true.)

The true facts could easily have been found out. If, there was a serious desire to be fair, accurate and truthful. It is therefore utterly irresponsible for the Leader of the Opposition to make abusive and unfounded allegations in the Assembly about innocent third parties, knowing full well that because of parliamentary privilege he is immune to being sued for defamation.

For the record, the first I heard of such a shady proposal, was the public accusations instantly broadcast to Montserrat and the wider world and automatically written into the record of our Legislature.

My clan has thus been subjected to a breach of honour, by way of unjustified false accusations and implied guilt by association with a long string of other accusations.

The Temple of Law in Montserrat must be cleansed.

I have therefore communicated with the Speaker. I have called for correcting the record and for dealing with the abuse of parliamentary privilege under the rules of Parliament. A retraction is due.

If such is not done our Honourable House of law-making is in danger of falling into disrepute.

Similarly, political parties are responsible for the behaviour of their officers.

Accordingly, through a formal complaint, I have called on the MCAP leadership to correct what was done under the colours of their party, and to repudiate the false accusations that were made.

There is obviously a need for a restoration of civility in political debate and behaviour in Montserrat. So, I have copied my formal complaint to the leadership of the PDM, and I have called on the Christian Council to facilitate development of a code of decent political conduct.

Edmund Burke warned us all long since, that “all that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to stand by and do nothing.”

I find it especially saddening to notice a tendency to shrug shoulders and say in effect, “that's politics . . . “

As though, the hunger for or exercise of power confers an exception to civility, honour and respect for one's neighbour, made in the Image of the Awesome God and Dread Judge of all Flesh.

Such is little more than a flimsy excuse for wrong-doing.

One, that imagines that might and manipulation make 'right' and 'truth.' That, is a monstrous doctrine condemned ever since Plato in The Laws, Book X exposed those who taught the up and coming youth of his day that “the highest right is might.”

Such, must not stand.

Let us cleanse the temple of law in Montserrat, lest we utterly undermine civility and mutual respect; which are the foundation of a stable and just democracy and community worth living in.>>
 
_____________ 

Further actions as outlined are of course under way, towards reformation of the culture of governance. END 

PS: The following excerpts from SRO 11 of 2012 will clarify and correct impressions also given during the relevant remarks:


 (Yes, providing reasonable circumstances apply, single source procurement of goods and services is legitimate. One of these, patently, would be  confidential policy analysis and linked support services.)

Friday, November 28, 2014

A message to those who have abused immunity privileges . . .

. . . in recent days, here:

[U/D Dec 13, cf follow-up post here for now public details]



A gentle reminder. END

PS: If that does not suffice, ask yourself why Jamaica's Parliament building bears this particular name:




. . . and stands on that particular site.

Before we draw too firm a conclusion on Ferguson . . .

. . . let us read here. END

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

11:11:2014 -- In Flanders Fields . . .

Let us watch, and let us reflect:



And, let us learn from history hard bought with blood and tears. END

PS: Ghosts of the Somme: