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Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Midday Musings-Just got done with an lecture on options and had at least one line I hadn't used before in a class. The classic Black-Scholes formula was discussed in passing (the math would leave my undergrads in the dust) and I had to laugh when I talked about Dr. Scholes getting the Nobel Prize (Black died before the '97 prize; no posthumous Nobels); you could say he was a shoe-in. The other straight line that didn't get out alive was co-ed naked option writing; I wasn't raunchy, but I wasn't exactly maxing out on edification, either. Congratulations to Ben for getting a job as Sen. Cornyn's speechwriter. That's a position that he could have for quite a while, since Cornyn will have that seat as long as he isn't caught in bed with a dead girl or live boy (He's from Texas; in Massachusetts, only the first counts). Or, he could use that job as a stepping stone for something even better. Ben, you're developing a resume that makes 99% of people your age (and older) jealous. I'd like to get a better handle on what's happening on Iraq. We seem to be getting more and more control over Basra and Baghdad, but things aren't close to being fully over. We've yet to see whether any of the big bombs got Saddam and whether any of his inner circle is still alive other than the information minister who's watching a different war than we are. The good news out of the Belfast summit is that Bush seems to be telling the UN to do an unnatural act with itself. It might have some humanitarian role, but that the allies will do the political reconstruction. One thing that is now going to surface is that with reconstruction will come carpetbaggers. Look for the protestor types to focus on the firms that will help out with said reconstruction. The media's already covering the evangelical aid groups in a less-than-flattering light. We're getting some interesting poll numbers from north of the border. Canadians think that the government should have been more active in supporting the US. However, that support has an interesting split
At a meeting in Toronto last month, Mr. Cellucci [the US Ambassador to Canada] said the U.S. would help Canada in time of need but the Chretien government's opposition to its policy on Iraq showed the reverse was not true. In response to a question about Mr. Cellucci's position, 41% of Canadians believe the government should show more support for the U.S. However, a breakdown of the figure shows that 49% of English speakers wanted the government to show more support for the U.S. while only 14% of French speakers agreed with this position.
Do they monge fromage in Quebec as well? Separatist sentiment may be waning in Quebec, but that points to a cultural difference between Quebec and Anglophone Canada. Interesting essay on democratizing the Middle East from Josh Marshall-(it's from Sunday, but I'm just getting to it) it might be harder than "us neocons" might think. It's not the hyperspacial rocket science Josh's making it out to be, but it's not going to be a cake-walk. He's been erring on the side of pessimism for a while and one of these day's he'll be right; a stopped clock does tell the correct time twice a day.

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