Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Amphibian out-polling Chameleon

It’s within the the poll’s three point error of margin, but still … a Rasmussen Reports poll of likely voters finds that in a general election match-up, Newt Gingrich would get 45 percent to President Obama’s 43 percent. 

Tina Brown: "Obama isn't a leader"

You mean a 20 year untenured, unpublished law lecturer isn't qualified to lead?   You mean droning on in front of law students and then voting 'present' in a state legislature don't build leadership skills?  My Gosh, who would have thought such a thing?  I thought he was the ONE.  Perhaps the One simply refers to his Singular incapacity to perform the duties of the job that he has?

TINA BROWN: Obama Isn’t A Leader. “I think knowing how to exercise power is absolutely crucial. He doesn’t understand how to underpin his ideas with the political gritty, granular business of getting it done. And that kind of gap has just widened and widened and widened. And so that every time there is a moment, a window where he can jump in, like something like a Simpson-Bowles as well, he just doesn’t do it. He hangs back at crucial moments when you have to dive through that window.” Video at the link.

Perhaps it is the hand of God?

Or perhaps God's chosen people?

A second Iranian nuclear facility has exploded, as diplomatic tensions rise between the West and Tehran

The images clearly showed billowing smoke and destruction, negating Iranian claims yesterday that no such explosion had taken place. Israeli intelligence officials told The Times that there was "no doubt" that the blast struck the nuclear facilities at Isfahan and that it was "no accident".

Iran claimed that the Tehran explosion occurred during testing on a new weapons system designed to strike at Israel. But several Israeli officials have confirmed that the blast was intentional and part of an effort to target Iran's nuclear weapons program.

A former Israeli intelligence official cited at least two other explosions that have "successfully neutralised" Iranian bases associated with the Shahab-3, the medium-range missile that could be adapted to carry a nuclear warhead. "This is something everyone in the West wanted to see happen," he added.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Attaboy, Barry.

Obama's approval ratings now worse than Jimmy Carter's.  Which isn't surprising:  he came to the job far less qualified and is doing a much worse job.

He may set 'liberalism' back a generation.

Hey!  Now that you put it that way:  heckuva job, Barry!

Why most published research findings are false

Alex Tabbarrok makes an important point.  Here.  So how do you know what you know?

A relevant chart that shows how in healthcare research the larger the n, the smaller the finding:


Monday, November 28, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fascist is as fascist does 2

The Euro elites were always fascists.  It's just that the gloves are coming off now.

Writing in the Guardian, a hugely over-excited Simon Jenkins returns to the fray, wondering whether we are all “doomed” (here too,incidentally, before we all get smug, but then Derb has already explained that), before getting to this:
Emergency regimes have taken power in Greece and Italy, while Germany could not sell a third of its bonds. Salvation, according to Europe’s desperate “leader”, José Manuel Barroso, can only lie in “stronger governance in the euro area, both in discipline and in convergence”. He wants nation states to submit draft budgets of their taxing and spending to him for oversight, to be subject to Brussels’ “enhanced surveillance”.
This is more than alarming. Today’s European crisis was brought about by widespread popular revolt against the straitjacket of an unrealistic European monetary union. Barroso’s solution is apparently an even tighter straitjacket, and no nonsense about popular elections or national referendums. He wants Europe ruled by Aristotle’s aristocrats, by people like him.
Indeed that former Maoist does.
But then there’s this:
The present eulogising of technocracy, of the power of economic technique unsullied by the mob, has always been the harbinger of dictatorship. We should remember how many Britons admired the efficiency of 1930s Germany and lauded Mussolini’s trains running on time.
And let’s not forget the British intellectuals who slobbered over Stalin’s “new civilization”, another technocracy, complete with Five Year Plans.
But back to Jenkins:
Greece is now talking of a “German protectorate”. The technocrat Italian prime minister, Mario Monti, warns his people that “the management of the crisis has suffered from a deficiency of government, and must be overcome with action at a European level”. We need not reproduce the Greek magazine’s cover of a swastika on the Acropolis to shudder at the phrases “deficiency of government” and “action at a European level”. We heard those phrases before. 
Consider the euphemisms. Barroso stamps on a possible Greek referendum as “a breach of trust”. In whom? The new German hegemony (which many Germans are commendably resisting) is called “enhanced co-operation”. Even a Guardian headline takes as axiomatic that a two-speed Europe is to be “feared”. Fast is synonymous with euro membership, German discipline, technocracy and progress; slow with a “peripheral”, populist democracy.
The irony here is that today’s technocrats are the dunderheads or Machiavellians (take your pick) responsible for creating the funny money that was always going to lead to a crisis much like this.  Installing the oleaginous Monti, one of those responsible for steering Italy into a currency for which it was never going to be suited, is a huge bet for hope over experience.

Then again, don’t idealize the voters either: the decision to join the euro was something that most Italians supported.

What was it that someone once wrote about popular delusions and the madness of crowds?

The fundamental unity of porn?

Female and male porn are equally exploitative, but only one of the two kinds is socially acceptable. It's even acceptable in Church.  Is this true?  If so, why is it tolerated?  Even praised?

WALTER HUDSON: The Twilight saga is just porn for women. “Pornography imagines that women exist for the sole purpose of satisfying men. The women in porn are not only willing, but eager. They are depicted as if satisfying a man is the means by which their own life is sustained. This is without the slightest pretense, explanation, or justification. The unconditional nature of the attraction is essential to the fantasy. So it is in Twilight, only with the roles reversed. Edward Cullen and Jacob Black adore Bella, not due to any apparent merit, but simply because she is there.”

Of course Pot Smokers usually have lots of money to loot...

...and that's what our government does.
RADLEY BALKO: Driven By Drug War Incentives, Cops Target Pot Smokers, Brush Off Victims Of Violent Crime.

The Criminalization of everything..... infinite discretion and therefore power to the state.  Therefore it will continue to destroy our society.  When everything is against the law, everyone is a criminal.   Break it up, break it all up.

SINCE HORSEWHIPPING HAS GONE OUT OF STYLE, I SUPPOSE A LAWSUIT IS BEST: Parents Sue D.A. for Charging Their 6-Year-Old Son With a Felony After He Played Doctor With a 5-Year-Old Girl. But no one should be shielded by their office from consequences for this kind of jackassery. And there certainly seem to be a lot of rotten officials in Wisconsin.

McCaskill: is this rat leaving the sinking ship?

Given that McKaskill Pere made his hundreds of millions off of dodgy Federal real estate deals it certainly isn't a moral objection to corruption that Claire Bear is exhibiting.  It's hard to hang on to the mooring cable all the way down to the dock, though.

We're going to hear a lot of Dem rats going plop into the harbor....

MORE SCANDALS: McCaskill calls for probe into smallpox-vaccine boondoggle.

Almost two weeks ago, the Los Angeles Times reported on the peculiar case of Siga Technologies, which got a no-bid contract to supply the Pentagon with an experimental vaccine for smallpox, a dead disease, when we have a plentiful supply of traditional vaccine to handle an outbreak. Siga Technologies has close ties to the Democratic Party with its primary investor, party donor Ronald Perelman, and relatively new board member Andy Stern, the former head of the SEIU and a frequent visitor to the Obama White House. The deal amounts to almost a half-billion dollars for Perelman and Stern, and the White House appears to have intervened to relax contract requirements and eliminate any hint of competition for the project.
Under those circumstances, it should come as no surprise that a member of Congress wants this deal investigated. Should it surprise us that the demand comes from a Senate Democrat?

Not anymore.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The economy is slowly winding down

The capital strike continues apace as a wary, depressed business class creates fewer and fewer businesses.  On the jobs side private industry has continued increasing productivity, squeezing more and more output out of fewer hours but a process that without new businesses, eventually winds down.  The only way the country grows is if new businesses, products and services get created.  And I'm afraid that a lot of that risk taking is on hold in our nation until we get leadership in both parties that recognizes that only the private economy creates wealth.

GE Paid no taxes on $14 Billion in Net

And for this 'achievement' President Obama recently appointed Jeff Immelt as his 'Jobs Czar'.  So which Obama is real? The one that decries 'executive jets' and lauds Occupy Wall Street against the 1%?  Or the one that pals around with Jeff Immelt and Jon Corzine?

This was how Indonesia was governed under Suharto.  Like me, Barry Soetero lived there at the time.  He was clearly paying attention.

This administration does the 'crony' better than any in history.  

Actually it's 100 Billion and 135,000 starved to death

The real cost of our rigged farm system isn't just the 10 billion in subsidies or the sky high prices for food, it's the fact that artificially high demand for food (biofuels, natch) drives up global commodity prices meaning the poorest of the poor can't afford to feed their family.  And experts estimate that last year this caused the death of 135,000.  Farmers:  stone cold killers.  No, make that rich stone cold killers.

More from Carpe Diem.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Paterno, Penn State and Rape

John Scalzi with a scathing post.  Here's what I see as the most important points:

At least one sports columnist has made the point that Joe Paterno, the 40+ year coach of Penn State, who was fired last night (along with the university’s president) by the university’s board of trustees, should be remembered for all the good things he has stood for, and for his generosity and principles, even as this scandal, which brought his downfall, is now inevitably part of his legacy as well. And, well. I suspect that in time, even this horrible event will fade, and Paterno’s legacy, to football and to Penn State, will rise above the tarnishment, especially because it can and will be argued that Paterno did all that was legally required of him, expressed regret and horror, and was not the man who was, after all, performing the acts.

Here’s what I think about that, right now. I’m a science fiction writer, and one of the great stories of science fiction is “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas,” which was written by Ursula K. LeGuin. The story posits a fantastic utopian city, where everything is beautiful, with one catch: In order for all this comfort and beauty to exist, one child must be kept in filth and misery. Every citizen of Omelas, when they come of age, is told about that one blameless child being put through hell. And they have a choice: Accept that is the price for their perfect lives in Omelas, or walk away from that paradise, into uncertainty and possibly chaos.

At Pennsylvania State University, a grown man found a blameless child being put through hell. Other grown men learned of it. Each of them had to make their choice, and decide, fundamentally, whether the continuation of their utopia — or at very least the illusion of their utopia — was worth the pain and suffering of that one child. Through their actions, and their inactions, we know the choice they made

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"A million blue links from Google is worth far less than one correct answer from Siri"

Arguably the only threat to Google is a change in the User Interface.

“A million blue links from Google is worth far less than one correct answer from Siri,” he adds. These are very early days for Siri, but already he hears that “Siri’s usage has been 10x more than what Apple anticipated.” The big potential, of course, is if Apple opens up Siri to outside developers, which could create a new wave of voice-enabled apps and give Apple an edge over Android and other mobile platforms. (Morgenthaler also gets into the challenges Apple must overcome before it can open up Siri).

If people start using Siri to bypass search, that is a huge threat to Google. But how would Siri make money? It wouldn’t be from advertising. In Morgenthaler’s mind, the biggest opportunity is getting in the middle of transaction. “Corporations will be happy to skip advertising altogether, if they can go straight to transactions,” he says.

TSA Abuse #1222978

I know that I should be agitating for this type of arrogant, obscene behavior to stop, but it's such an object lesson to millions of people of how our government abuses its power every day in almost every way.

Told She Has To Lift Her Skirt Up For TSA To Board A Plane
Disgusting abuse of power by little people -- little security guards who are not "officers" but are called that -- who have been handed power for probably the first time in their lives.
Tabitha Hale blogs at RedState:
I had on black tights under my dress, which I'm certain is not uncommon. She asked me to lift my dress so she could check the waistband of my tights.I felt my stomach drop. I said "I'm not lifting my dress for you. No way." She was obviously irritated with me now and said that she would take me to the private screening area if I would like.
I said "No, absolutely not. If you can't do this in front of everyone, you should not be doing this to me."
She then called a manager over. The manager approached me and explained what they were going to do and that if I failed to comply, they would escort me from the airport. I told her I saw no reason that they should have to lift my dress to clear me to get on a plane. I would have, however, allowed them to escort me out of the airport before they got me to lift my skirt and stick their hands down my tights. I was bracing myself to spend another night in Texas.
She sensed the rebellion in me, and it was almost like they were punishing me for not just lifting my dress and making their lives easier. She checked every inch of my neckline, sticking her fingers between my breasts because she needed to "clear" the (very slight) ruffle.
They cleared the waistband of my tights through my dress, then made me put one leg forward at a time so they could get better "definition of my thigh." She then proceded to pat down every inch of me, all the way up to my crotch. And yes, she used that word. Twice.
It reminded me of the time in Columbus, Ohio last November that one of the agents told me to think of the pat down as a "free massage from TSA." I reminded her at the time that you needed to post a license for that.
The pat down in Houston yesterday was so vigorous I had to readjust my clothes when she was finished. Even my bra straps had been pulled down my shoulders in the process. I felt completely violated, immediately called a friend to recap, and took to Twitter to draw as much attention to the incident as I could.
Here's the thing. If anyone else had done this to me, I would have decked them and likely filed charges. The fact that the person has on a TSA uniform is supposed to make it okay? It isn't. Why should any person be subjected to this to get on an airplane? We're supposed to subject ourselves to inappropriate touch for teh sake of "safety"?

The Obami's fingerprints seem to be all over the Cain Allegations

I'm not a big fan of Ann Coulter but the Senatorial events that she details below are true and if the circumstancial case that she puts forward below is even half right,  I reprint her column in its entirety.


Herman Cain has spent his life living and working all over the country -- Indiana, Georgia, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Washington, D.C. -- but never in Chicago. 

So it's curious that all the sexual harassment allegations against Cain emanate from Chicago: home of the Daley machine and Obama consigliere David Axelrod. 

Suspicions had already fallen on Sheila O'Grady, who is close with David Axelrod and went straight from being former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley's chief of staff to president of the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA), as being the person who dug up Herman Cain's personnel records from the National Restaurant Association (NRA). 

The Daley-controlled IRA works hand-in-glove with the NRA. And strangely enough, Cain's short, three-year tenure at the NRA is evidently the only period in his decades-long career during which he's alleged to have been a sexual predator. 

After O'Grady's name surfaced in connection with the miraculous appearance of Cain's personnel files from the NRA, she issued a Clintonesque denial of any involvement in producing them -- by vigorously denying that she knew Cain when he was at the NRA. (Duh.) 

And now, after a week of conservative eye-rolling over unspecified, anonymous accusations against Cain, we've suddenly got very specific sexual assault allegations from an all-new accuser out of ... Chicago. 

Herman Cain has never lived in Chicago. But you know who has? David Axelrod! And guess who lived in Axelrod's very building? Right again: Cain's latest accuser, Sharon Bialek. 

Bialek's accusations were certainly specific. But they also demonstrated why anonymous accusations are worthless. 

Within 24 hours of Bialek's press conference, friends and acquaintances of hers stepped forward to say that she's a "gold-digger," that she was constantly in financial trouble -- having filed for personal bankruptcy twice -- and, of course, that she had lived in Axelrod's apartment building at 505 North Lake Shore Drive, where, she admits, she knew the man The New York Times calls Obama's "hired muscle." 

Throw in some federal tax evasion, and she's Obama's next Cabinet pick. 

The reason all this is relevant is that both Axelrod and Daley have a history of smearing political opponents by digging up claims of sexual misconduct against them. 

John Brooks, Chicago's former fire commissioner, filed a lawsuit against Daley six months ago claiming Daley threatened to smear him with sexual harassment accusations if Brooks didn't resign. He resigned -- and the sexual harassment allegations were later found to be completely false. 

Meanwhile, as extensively detailed in my book "Guilty: Liberal 'Victims' and Their Assault on America," the only reason Obama became a U.S. senator -- allowing him to run for president -- is that David Axelrod pulled sealed divorce records out of a hat, first, against Obama's Democratic primary opponent, and then against Obama's Republican opponent. 

One month before the 2004 Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate, Obama was way down in the polls, about to lose to Blair Hull, a multimillionaire securities trader. 

But then The Chicago Tribune -- where Axelrod used to work -- began publishing claims that Hull's second ex-wife, Brenda Sexton, had sought an order of protection against him during their 1998 divorce proceedings. 

From then until Election Day, Hull was embroiled in fighting the allegation that he was a "wife beater." He and his ex-wife eventually agreed to release their sealed divorce records. His first ex-wife, daughters and nanny defended him at a press conference, swearing he was never violent. During a Democratic debate, Hull was forced to explain that his wife kicked him and he had merely kicked her back. 

Hull's substantial lead just a month before the primary collapsed with the nonstop media attention to his divorce records. Obama sailed to the front of the pack and won the primary. Hull finished third with 10 percent of the vote. 

Luckily for Axelrod, Obama's opponent in the general election had also been divorced. 

The Republican nominee was Jack Ryan, a graduate of Dartmouth and Harvard law and business schools, who had left his lucrative partnership at Goldman Sachs to teach at an inner-city school on the South Side of Chicago. 

But in a child custody dispute some years earlier, Ryan's ex-wife, Hollywood sex kitten Jeri Lynn Ryan, had alleged that, while the couple was married, Jack had taken her to swingers clubs in Paris and New York. 

Jack Ryan adamantly denied the allegations. In the interest of protecting their son, he also requested that the records be put permanently under seal. 

Axelrod's courthouse moles obtained the "sealed" records and, in no time, they were in the hands of every political operative in Chicago. Knowing perfectly well what was in the records, Chicago Tribune attorneys flew to California and requested that the court officially "unseal" them -- over the objections of both Jack and Jeri Ryan. 

Your honor, who knows what could be in these records! 

A California judge ordered them unsealed, which allowed newspapers to publish the salacious allegations, and four days later, Ryan dropped out of the race under pressure from idiot Republicans (who should be tracked down and shot). 

With a last-minute replacement of Alan Keyes as Obama's Republican opponent, Obama was able to set an all-time record in an Illinois Senate election, winning with a 43 percent margin. 

And that's how Obama became a senator four years after losing a congressional race to Bobby Rush. (In a disastrous turn of events, Rush was not divorced.) 

Axelrod destroyed the only two men who stood between Obama and the Senate with illicitly obtained, lurid allegations from their pasts. 

In 2007, long after Obama was safely ensconced in the U.S. Senate, The New York Times reported: "The Tribune reporter who wrote the original piece (on Hull's sealed divorce records) later acknowledged in print that the Obama camp had 'worked aggressively behind the scenes' to push the story." 

Some had suggested, the Times article continued, that Axelrod had "an even more significant role -- that he leaked the initial story." 

This time, Obama's little helpers have not only thrown a bomb into the Republican primary, but are hoping to destroy the man who deprives the Democrats of their only argument in 2012: If you oppose Obama, you must be a racist. 

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

What? You mean that 'progressive' governance can't just change a country's culture?

Like make people not use alcohol or other mind altering drugs?  Or make Greeks behave like Germans?  Who knew?

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: European Wheels Spin Faster, Still No Traction. “Unfortunately, Club Med’s biggest problems can’t be solved by a change of prime ministers or even government coalitions. There are deep cultural and historical reasons why these countries’ economies and political systems work the way they do. Italy can’t become Denmark by an act of will or by passing a new legal code; Greece cannot become Germany and Spain can’t become Sweden.”

Wally Mead Explains why Blue America is falling apart

He particularly focuses on the role of Wall Street in the statist coalition.  Here.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Subsidized companies argue for protection from other companies because they say that they are....subsidized

Kafka would have a field day.  But as Marx might say, the inherent contradictions of the left-fascist state are causing it to collapse from within.  Faster please.

TIM CAVANAUGH: Pot calls kettle green in solar dumping petition. “It’s hard to spot all the absurdities in the death spiral of the U.S. government’s green energy policy. But here’s a big one: A group of solar equipment makers is trying to lock inexpensive products out of the United States, and the argument of these subsidized companies is that subsidies create an unfair market.”

Friday, November 04, 2011

Gallup says unemployment is dropping

I trust Gallup more than I trust the Feds:  they have to make sure their information is useful while the Feds get paid (double paid) regardless.  And their news is actually better.  Why don't we add to the unemployment rate by privatizing the BLS?
Gallup's U.S. Unemployment Rate, 2010-2011

Harvard Undergrads protest Economics Class

Next up:  Protests against Gravity, Winter and the use of the Participle.  Here.

Earlier this week, a group of Harvard undergraduates aligned with Occupy Wall Street protesters made a statement yesterday by staging a “walkout” of an introductory economics course taught by conservative professor Greg Mankiw. Mankiw, who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers for President George W. Bush, says in a phone interview that about 5 to 10 percent of the 700-person lecture class (Harvard’s largest) walked out “very politely” just after noon on Wednesday.

The case for Federalism

The case for Federalism lies in creating a continent wide market for good governance.  No monopolist ever 'did the right thing' without pressure.  The key to getting our government to treat us with decency and respect is to have the easy option to shift our homes and businesses to another state that does a better job.  This is why the Federal monopoly is so destructive.  As Milton Friedman said many years ago:

“I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.”

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The difference between $1 Trillion and $100 Trillion

What $1 Trillion buys:
 Leaving Iraq
What $100 Trillion buys:


Wally Mead points out the obvious:

The Comprehensive Eurofail

Having spent months warning readers about the incompetence of Europe’s political leadership and the incoherence of its institutional structures, I thought I had seen the worst.  But for even this hardened and cynical observer who has had years of watching European ineptitude the last 24 hours have been a revelation: the Europeans are totally at sea.
The Greek government has fallen apart; nobody in the cabinet or out knows what is happening or what should be done.
Silvio Berlusconi’s authority has collapsed in Italy, but while Berlusconi can’t govern anymore, nobody else can take the reins.  At a moment of grave financial crisis, the Italian ship is drifting rudderless in a stormy sea.
Europe’s institutions cannot cope.  Decades of building intricate rules and complicated institutions have failed to create an institutional architecture than can resolve basic disputes.
Not all of Europe’s leaders are empty suits.  Angela Merkel, David Cameron, Olli Rehn and a surprisingly large number of others are people of real substance and conviction.  George Papandreou is a serious man. But the absence of an effective organizational structure plus the failure (perhaps because it was impossible) to build a European political culture means that in Europe the whole is much less than the sum of the parts.
We can still hope that sheer desperation will force the Europeans into some kind of coherent action. The house is on fire, the boat is headed for Niagara Falls, the cow flops are hitting the fan, the dam has broken and the volcano is erupting: perhaps somebody somewhere will act.
But right now the world’s largest economic bloc is running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  This is not a drill.

So how do you know what you know - Pseudoscience and the Establishment

Noted science writer Matt Ridley gives a speech on pseudoscience, with particular attention paid to Global Warming.  His key point:  You can trust experts to analyze and explain the past but they have no special ability to predict the future.  Here.

The all animals are equal but some are more equal than others department

Why doesn't this surprise anyone.

HMM: Obama-Friendly GE Building Aircraft Factory in Right-to-Work Alabama; Curiously, Unlike Boeing, NLRB Utterly Silent.


Yep, that just about sums it up.

A WORD TO DESCRIBE OUR CURRENT SYSTEM: Ineptocracy. “A system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers*

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Pop goes the weasel.

Or should I say wEUsel?

With the announcement of a Greek referendum today the serial attempts by the Eurocracy to square the Euro circle, drink the Strasbourg ocean, roll the boulder up the Brussel's hill (insert your own pointless task here) is rapidly coming to a close.  In a few weeks the Greeks (however irrationally) will go phhhbbbt to the Great and Good of New Europe, precipitating their exit from the currency and a likely a rolling crisis that will see a number of other southern European economies tip into the default toilet.

And the necessary task now is not to try to fish the turds out of their watery grave and call them dinner.

No, the task is to flush.

Thus endeth the oh so 'progressive' fantasy of "Europe".

But the real tragedy is that all advanced 'social democratic' states are effectively turds waiting for their turn in the global 'loo.  And when America, the biggest of them all tips in, it will blow the global plumbing all to hell.

So why don't we ban hotels?

Thomas Sowell on the obtuse 'Payday Loan' rhetoric.

"The mindset of the left was recently displayed in a big, front-page story in the October 30th issue of the San Mateo County Times. It was an investigative reporter's expose of the "payday loan" business and its lobbyists. According to the reporter: "In California lenders charge up to $45 in fees on a maximum $300 loan. This amounts to an interest rate of 460 percent, trapping some borrowers into a never-ending cycle of debt."

The 460 percent figure comes from imagining that the borrower is not just going to borrow the money for a couple of weeks, but is going to keep on borrowing every couple of weeks all year long. Using this kind of reasoning -- or lack of reasoning -- you could quote the price of salmon as $15,000 a ton or say a hotel room rents for $36,000 a year, when no consumer buys a ton of salmon and few people stay in a hotel room all year. It is clever propaganda, but do people buy newspapers to be propagandized?"

~Thomas Sowell

And we don't know the payday loan 'victim's' circumstances.  Perhaps not getting the payday loan will cause them to miss a card payment or bounce a check, costing more than the loan?  The left assumes that everyone but them is irrational.  They believe that despite no knowledge of an individual they understand what's 'good' for them more than they do.  This is the evil concept of 'nudge' that has become the latest rallying cry of 'progressives' everywhere.

But it does give centralizing new class statists a lot more power, doesn't it?  Isn't it funny how every progressive 'reform' does that?

Why are we investing in the most expensive forms of energy?

And ones with enormously negative environmental footprints (even ignoring 'biofuels').  It's simple, Wind and Solar are projects of the state coalition if only because they depend upon it for their survival.  Natural Gas, Oil and Coal?  Not so much.  Follow the power - leaders do nothing that reduces their power.

Facts on the cost of generating electricity (per kilowatt hour):

Natural gas: 3.5-4.5 cents
Coal: 4-5 cents
Hydro4 cents
Nuclear: 8 cents
Wind: 7-9 cents
Solar: 15-50 cents

Question: Why as a country are we investing billions of dollars in the most expensive option (solar) and ignoring the cheapest (natural gas), especially when the U.S. is the "Saudi Arabia of natural gas"? 

HT: Warren Smith

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Feds under Clinton and Bush forced the subprime fraud

IBD has the smoking gun.  This was so predictable.  And only an all powerful Federal Government could have created this disaster.  Financial regulation is a rigged game for the benefit of the people who run the country.  In a word, Fraud.