Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Economic stress

If the economic crisis on Wall Street is due to a lack of liquidity in the money markets and a tightening of credit, then there is no need for a massive bailout. The federal government, through the Federal Reserve, already has the means to increase liquidity and ease credit.

The appropriate mechanism for dealing with large failures is to allow them to work out through the bankruptcy system. That is what any of us who default, or who are in danger of default, would do. Why we have investment bankers and insurance companies running to Congress rather than the nearest bankruptcy court is not clear.

A large part of the blame must fall on governmental mandates to make loans to those who cannot repay the loans. This is what a sub-prime loan really is, and they are strongly encouraged by federal oversight.

It still seems outrageous for any of us who did not choose to participate in high risk activities to have to pay the bills for those who did. There is high reward for risk, but the alternative is the loss of investment. But I don't believe nationalizing the equity markets would be wise. Politicians would just load up even more stupidity like making loan policies based on political ends rather than credit worthiness.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Some things should be obvious

According to an article in "New Scientist" a plant called horny goat weed may be just as effective in treating erectile dysfunction as Viagra.

Hello! It is called horny goat weed. Maybe the scientists would have figured it out sooner if it were called horny old goat weed.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Palin is a Game Changer - Part II

I've been watching some clips of Palin's interview with Katie Couric and it is SCARY. It appears to me that she is totally unqualified to be Vice President, and that in fact J.R. would have been a much better pick for McCain.

And what is up with McCain's stunts regarding the debates and the Wall St. bailout? I am amazed watching McCain and Palin over the last few days.. amazed and afraid if they could still actually win after all of this!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bayonet the wounded

In the grand tradition of Congress they are lining up to bayonet the wounded in the Wall Street mess. If they'd just get out of the way and let the dumbasses, oops, I mean geniuses, on Wall Street suffer from their mistakes, it will all be fine in the long run. Congress is really good at shutting the barn door after the horses get out. I'm sure they will come up with some wonderful regulations to fix last years problems, and in the process compound the problems going forward.

But it never fails, they let the market work when it succeeds but can't suffer the ultimate failures. Business is good at creative destruction. Things that don't work fall apart, and those things that do work, move forward. All we need now is some massive federal intervention and regulation to ensure that the failures stay in place.

Economics is probably the least understood thing in DC. Politics will screw up economic creativity (with creativity comes destruction) every time.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Anthropological study of conservatives

I won't comment on this blog post by Judith Warner...yet! I read it yesterday, and have thought about it at length, so I do have some comments. But, I would like to have all of my three or four readers comment on it before I weigh in.

Please, if you visit here, read the item and express an opinion.

ADDED: Since only one of my massive reading audience chose to comment (thank you Miss Brazil) I will go ahead and give my opinion of this piece.

Ms. Warner brought a massive load of condescension to her post. She went forth to laugh and make fun of those conservative women who might think Gov. Palin is something other than evil in a lovely dress. She found, to her horror, that these women were actually nice to her. She has no context for understanding that people with political views other than her own might be rational, thinking human beings. It was embarrassing to read how flummoxed she was to find that these were not people out for her blood.

Her final bit about research showing that conservatives can empathize with liberals, but not vice versa was totally borne out by the commenters. The viciousness and hatred expressed by these people was more eye opening even than her own post.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Today Michael Barone visits the effect that McCain's fighter pilot training seems to have on his campaign. This is something I referenced here a couple of weeks ago. The OODA loop; Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.

The two weeks since my original post have only confirmed my belief that McCain is solidly inside the Obama campaign's decision making process. He is forcing them to react rather than act. They are constantly reacting, and it makes them seem ragged and undisciplined.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I am shocked, shocked I tell you!

There are claims by everyone in the media and both sides of the Presidential campaign that lies are being told! Oh my God! This is the most amazing thing I have ever encountered. Politicians who shade the truth, tell us what they think we want to hear and sometimes tell the truth but not in a manner acceptable to the opposition.

I have to admit that in my case this mostly falls on deaf ears. We've had to endure screams of "Liar!" for the past seven years every time President Bush says something that the left doesn't agree with. When policy differences are not argued, but simply dismissed as more lies from those lying liars it becomes difficult to really care.

Newsflash: Just because you disagree doesn't make it a lie.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ike yikes!

It looks like hurricane Ike will hit somewhere between Galveston and Corpus Christi as a major storm. Southern Harris County is evacuating, let's hope this goes better than it did in 2005 for Rita. All of my friends in south Texas get out please.

Cousin Mark what are you doing about this one?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pretty pigs

"You know, you can put lipstick on a pig," Obama said, "but it's still a pig."



"Democrat Barack Obama says he would delay rescinding President Bush's tax cuts on wealthy Americans if he becomes the next president and the economy is in a recession, suggesting such an increase would further hurt the economy," the Associated Press reports

So tax increases are bad for the economy? Why then is Sen. Obama's plan to raise them supposed to help the economy? I am just so confused.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Community organizer (seriously)

This article by Byron York describes what Sen. Obama did as a community organizer. I have honestly been curious about what this activity really involved, and this seems to answer that question.

Palin is a Game Changer

I have been out of it the last week with jet lag from my China trip, but to me it's becoming obvious that McCain's selection of Sarah Palin is a game changer for Election 2008.

Just look at the new polls coming in this morning. The USA Today/Gallup poll has McCain/Palin at 54% and Obama/Biden at 44%. Wow! That is one hell of a bump!

I don't think the Democrats know what to do about Sarah Palin and the new strategy of the McCain campaign (that McCain/Palin are the real "change" agents). On the face of it, it seems ludicrous that 4 more years of Republican rule would be a "change," but we can't put anything past these Republicans!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Free Obama-Biden

There is a Google ad on the site promoting "Free Obama-Biden" stickers. What are we freeing them from? Are they incarcerated? Or are we, hopefully, freeing them from their socialist, Marxist tendencies?

Obama the Muslim

I have never believed the internet driven stories that Obama was/is a Muslim in an America hating, black theology sheep's clothing, but this comment raises questions:

"Let's not play games," he said. "What I was suggesting -- you're absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith . And you're absolutely right that that has not come." (Emphasis added)

This is not a slip of tongue I might ever make even if accused of being a Muslim.


Experience; nobody cares! Get over it. The election, like every election before it, is not about experience. It is about character and personality. The question is; Do you think this man or woman has the leadership qualities to run our country. This has nothing, or as close to nothing as you can get, with actual experience and credentials.

We are not hiring a CEO, we are electing someone that we think has the character, judgment and ability to lead. Leadership ability is the only qualification at the end of the day. We elect a leader who we think has the steel, the balls, the guts to make an important decision without letting all of that extraneous bullshit that fills our world distort the process. Senator Obama has not gotten this far based on his experience, he has none of any value, but on the belief that he has leadership qualities that will make him a good President. We may disagree on the assessment, but that is the only reason he is his party's nominee.

The 3:00 A.M. question is relevant. Who do you want answering that phone? Decision processes are the only important issue facing the Chief Executive. Can he/she make a decision faced with limited/conflicting data that leads to a positive result. That is a hard thing, it requires character, judgment and surety. It is okay to be wrong, but it is not okay to be indecisive. Being the big dog, the final authority does not allow for a lot of soul searching, that person has to know what he/she believes and act accordingly.


There is a relentless expression that this is the most important Presidential election in a generation; has there ever been an election that is not framed in this way?

I think this is an important election, as is each one, but I fail to see exactly what makes this one more significant than any other in the past 40 years.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Community organizers

According to David Burge, Community Organizer and Presidential candidate (no I don't know what party he is the candidate of) this is what community organizers do:

* reach out and work with communities in various ways.
* liaison with, and for, community agencies for service within affected areas.
* fight to make a difference.
* raise awareness.
* deal with community issues.
* raise awareness in the community of how we are making differences about undealt-with issues .
* when necessary, refer inquiries to outreach coordinators.
* Help coordination agency administrators identify and address outreach opportunities.
* model timetables and conceptualize benchmarks.
* issue guidelines for poster contests and interpretive dance festivals.
* Gather voter registrations, win valuable prizes.

I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume this is not an exhaustive list. After reading it I guess I know what a community organizer does, but that doesn't really help me understand how that benefits anything beyond the organizers own ego. If this were a business plan it would have to be redone as none of these items is specific, and there are no goals involved.

The last two are my favorites. It is hard not to smile or even chuckle a bit when issuing guidelines for poster contests and interpretive dance festivals, and winning valuable prizes are part of your job description.

The rest of the article is extremely helpful, you can read it here.

Ok, so it's satire. And I still don't know what a community organizer does. The one description I found talked about registering voters for ACORN, but since they tend to have dubious methods that is surely not all that is involved.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Is Natural Gas Pipeline God's Will?

I found these excerpts from Palin on MSNBC this morning and found them pretty humorous.

“I can do my part in working really, really hard to get a natural gas pipeline, about a $30 billion project that's going to create a lot of jobs for Alaska. … [but] I think God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that,” she said. “I can do my job there in developing our natural resources, in doing things like getting the roads paved and making sure our troopers have their cop cars and their uniforms and their guns, and making sure our public schools are funded. But really that stuff doesn't do any good if the people of Alaska's hearts aren't right with God.”

It wasn't all serious, though. At one point during the address, Palin praised the graduating class as “a bunch of cool-looking Christians.” Then she picked out one student in the crowd and said with a smile, “Ben, I don't know you well enough yet, but looking at you, I'm thinking, people are going to interested in Jesus Christ through you because of the way you look - this red-headed Sasquatch for Jesus. You look good!” The students cheered. “Times are really changin'. And with the times that change, looks even change.”

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sun spots (so what?)

There are actually things more important than the pregnancy of Gov. Palin's teenage daughter. For instance, sun spot activity of either zero or one-half for the month of August may have significant implications for the Earth's climate. There is significant evidence that sun spot activity has influence on global climate. Periods of heightened activity such as we have experienced since the 1940's lead to warming, periods of decreasing activity lead to cooling and perhaps even increasing glaciation. If activity continues at this level we may be facing another minimum.

Since it seems obvious that the most important cause of any temperature shift is the sun, this is something that we should pay attention to. There is not anything that can be done, like carbon reduction, (well maybe increasing carbon would attenuate some of the cooling effect,) but it at least gives a warning and allows for preparation.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Palin and PUMA's

PUMA's (party unity my ass) will not likely be attracted to the Republican ticket by the choice of Gov. Palin. If the reason they supported Sen. Clinton is that she is ideologically at home in the Democratic Party then they will not find much to like in Gov. Palin. Those who supported Clinton because she is a woman, and pay little attention to her politics may consider switching to a McCain vote.

Palin is more important in shoring up the conservative wing of the Republican Party. She is the poster girl for the religious, uber-conservative part of the party. This group has never been fond of McCain and there was a danger that they would just stay home on election day. That is not a problem now. Further, she may help in attracting some women who are independent, and even a small fraction of PUMA's in the right states may be enough to change the electoral map.

She may turn out to be a deeply flawed choice, but at first blush she seems a good choice by Sen. McCain.