Thursday, January 29, 2009

Top 10 bank slogans

Time's 'The List' issue had this interesting list of slogans from ailing banks in the US:

1. Washington Mutual: "Whoo hoo!"

2. Lehman Brothers: "Where vision gets built"

3. AIG: "The strength to be there"

4. IndyMac: "You can count on us"

5. Capital One: "What's in your wallet?"

6. World Financial Group: "No family left behind"

7. Morgan Stanley: "World wise"

8. Security Pacific Bank: "Smarter Money"

9. Nationwide: "Protection"

10. T. Rowe Price: "Invest with confidence"

These slogans from some of the most hard-hit financial institutions are good for a little schadenfreude, but I'm bringing this up because of the news of what these really kurang ajar big boys on Wall Street are doing.
"Employees were paid more than $18 billion in bonuses last year while their crumbling financial sector received a bailout from taxpayers". This damning piece of news comes after Citigroup was to receive a new corporate jet even after receiving billions for a bailout. A corporate jet. What gall!

So I don't feel guilty at all making fun for their bank slogans. My favourite is probably IndyMac's "You can count on us", which was one of the first casualties of the credit crunch, and the second-largest bank failure in US history.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama is damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

I've been hearing quite a lot from people who are 'anti-obama' nowadays. I'm obviously talking about those riled up with his deafening silence on what is going on in Gaza. It's the exact opposite to the rest of the world - it's hip to love Obama and his speeches that seem to have a lot less grammatical errors than his predecessor. This pessimism towards him basically started with some pretty zionist comments he made during his campaign speeches.
"Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided". This is some real radical stuff man. Even Bush didn't go that far. Even israeli leaders don't go that far. But Obama is addressing one of the most powerful jewish lobbies in America, and says this in a campaign speech. Palestinians don't foot campaign bills, the big boys like AIPAC do. And palestinians don't vote a US president, american jews do. So his "more Likud than thou" comments should be taken into context. Remember that being black and having a muslim dad AND having 'Hussein' as a middle name isn't really an advantage when you're running for president.

Fast forward to now, the white supremacist-islamophobe's worst nightmare has materialised (remember, even late into the election 10% of Americans still thought Obama was a muslim). So should we hope for a better middle-east policy starting today? I think the answer really lies in what actual power Obama has as president. My feeling is that at heart Obama is a good guy. Family associations affect you in some way or a rather, and I truly think the fact that his father was muslim and his attachment to the east makes him a sympathiser by nature. But could he change things if he wanted to? Could he say tomorrow, "I am with the Palestinian people"?

I don't think so. Think about this - what on earth does America gain from being an ally of Israel? Eight million dollars of American tax-payers money goes to Israel every day. Israel is the main cause for anti-American sentiment in the Middle-east. Israel is why 911 happened. And 911 gave an excuse for Bush to start wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And those wars cost taxpayers nearly as much as The Bailout (600 billion by pentagon estimates). So at all levels, Israel is the biggest liability America has ever had. Eliminating israeli protection and funding should have been a main issue in the elections. Instead, Obama must kiss Jewish arse in order to get his arse into the whitehouse.

If I had to be optimistic, I would believe that Obama played the game during the campaign and now that he's in the whitehouse, he could control the game. But the more likely scenario is, Obama can't do anything even if he wants to.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Kereta hybrid proton.

Aku agak teruja tahun lepas bila Proton mengumumkan nak menghasilkan kereta hybrid dalam 2 atau 3 tahun. Walaupun automatic electric window pun Proton agak tak reti nak buat (semi-automatic sebenarnya sebab kena angkat tingkap dengan tangan sambil tekan switch), sekurang-kurangnya inisiatif tu ada. Better start now than never.
Setakat yang diketahui, bosch, lotus dan detroit electric sedang membantu Proton dalam hal ini.

Lets not kid ourselves lah, Proton masih terkial-kial di gelanggang sendiri. Yang last aku tahu untuk proton, average 6 defects per car. Toyota? 0.2.
Looooooong way to go, but at least it's in the right direction.
Anyway kita kaji satu persatu:


"...I can only say that we are looking at this possibility in two to three years time before we go into mass production,” he (managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin) said. “To realise this, we have started collaborating with several foreign OEMs such as Bosch who are involved in producing hybrid components and system."

Bosch, a German auto parts maker, is the world’s largest supplier of automobile components. The company has business relationships with virtually every automobile manufacturer in the world. Syed Zainal also said that Proton was currently undertaking research and development to identify certain aspects of technology to reduce the cost of producing hybrid cars.

Hmm... Syed Zainal Abidin memang dikatakan membawa Proton ke arah yang betul dengan meningkatkan QC nak sebagainya. Lepas announcement ni, lagilah aku respect dia ni.


"Compared to the baseline Proton Gen.2, tailpipe emissions are reduced from a competitive 172g/km to just 134g/km, a reduction of 22%, while fuel economy improves from 39.2mpg to 50.2mpg, a 28% improvement."


Yang ni aku musykil sikit sebab Detroit Electric ialah start-up company daripada some guy yang quit lotus cars. Kalau tengok website Detroit Electric pun macam template website kosong je.