Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bloomberg: The Worst Banking Scandal Yet?

via RealClearPolitics

The scandal over the manipulation of Libor has the potential to become one of the most costly and consequential in the history of banking. If the financial institutions involved want to prevent it from overwhelming their businesses and damaging the broader economy, they’ll have to act fast....The Libor scandal offers a sad illustration of the moral bankruptcy that has infected some corners of finance. If the response fails to demonstrate a clear break from the past, the repercussions could again inflict a lot of pain on millions of innocent people. This time, the financial sector has little goodwill to spare.

B.B. King - The Thrill Is Gone (Casino Soundtrack)

This movie is in my DVD collection.  What a dismal spectacle that movie is.  But the music goes with my mood these days. 



Kirk Sorensen - A Global Alternative (thorium energy via LFTR) @ TEAC4

Published on Jul 8, 2012 by gordonmcdowell



Update:

John Kutsch describes the strangeness of politics-- actually I've described it as ideology makes people stupid, which the story he relates shows.

PBS - Frontline - Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald (Part 1)

Uploaded by Richie086 on May 9, 2011

Part 1 of 3 below:



Part 2
Part 3

Comment:

A fair reporting of the event.  There's no wild speculation here, just the facts-- ma'am.  Too bad the media can't report like this.

Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror (Upcoming Mars landing)

link via Free Republic

What struck me about this video is the amount of water in the Martian atmosphere is equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere. It would seem that there should be a way to extract that water and use it to produce rocket fuel.

2:18 into video



Obama, Democrats Push DISCLOSE Act to Intimidate Romney Donors

usnews.com  via Free Republic

  • On Monday the U.S. Senate is going to again take up the DISCLOSE Act, an effort the Democrats and their allies want to pass in order to be able to intimidate donors to the GOP, to Romney, and to conservative causes.
  • The problem is not how the money enters the system. The Democrats have their own groups who are doing just what the GOP is
  • It's not the new system they don't like—even while they attack it. It's that without knowing the identity of the donors who are giving the money to the GOP, they can't send their mobs arising out of the "Occupy" movement and like-minded groups to the homes of donors in an effort to intimidate them into closing their checkbooks. Last week, for example, hoards of protesters descended on a neighborhood in New York to picket the home of a couple holding a Romney fundraiser, including a plane towing an obnoxious banner overhead.
Comment:

The left is all about "shut up".   They aren't interested in a free and open discussion of issues.

New Gallup Poll Says Americans Are Tuning TV News Out

Ed Driscoll via Free Republic

 Just ask Diane Sawyer: “You know, I wanted to sit on a jury once and I was taken off the jury. And the judge said to me, ‘Can, you know, can you tell the truth and be fair?’ And I said, ‘That’s what journalists do.’ And everybody in the courtroom laughed. It was the most hurtful moment I think I’ve ever had.”

Also, from NewsBusters:
The results of this survey should be tacked up on the walls of newsrooms across the country, but they won’t be. Instead the media will sputter along, continuing to alienate viewers as they force their alternate liberal reality on an increasingly suspicious public. The media may not want to Tell the Truth, but the numbers don’t lie.


Microsoft leaves MSNBC

Friday, July 13, 2012

Obama's love for the middle class? Now, that's rich

Cleveland.com via Free Republic

Middle class, whoever you are, be warned: All Obama wants is the re-election that only you can give him.

He doesn't mind using you, but he's really not that into you. And if you give him what he wants, he's already planning to walk all over you.

Choose wisely.

18-24 Year-Olds Don’t Like Obama

Dick Morris TV: Lunch Alert!

Ace: Obama's Appeal Is Not Dwindling. It's Just Becoming More Selective.

Lol.

Speaking of, Matthew Condinetti compares Obama to Spinal Tap. Where once he filled huge college football stadiums, his campaign is now bragging about...The White House took desperate pains to note that the president talked to an “overflow crowd.” What it did not mention was that an overflow crowd in a community college gym could not fill the seats in, say, the OSU stadium

Honey, I shrunk Obama


Our shrunken president is correct about one thing, however. There is a way to break the “stalemate.” Elect Romney.

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Texas Flood (Remastered 1999)

Uploaded by MetalThrasher90 on Mar 10, 2009


Obama’s Scorched Earth Policy

Dick Morris TV: Lunch Alert!

Obama's war on America.

By the way, a movie premiered last night in Houston.  The producer was the same guy who produced Schindler's List.  It's about Obama and what he is all about.


Gonzalo Lira: The Coming Middle-Class Anarchy

Gonzalo Lira: The Coming Middle-Class Anarchy: Future Anarchists of America? Update I, below. Update II, below. Update III:  The denouement of Brian and Ilsa’s story can be found her...

h/t Instapundit

quote:

There were elements of class envy, certainly, but I think for the most part, there was a kind of projection-and-denial going on: If salt-of-the-earth, always-follow-the-rules people are getting screwed with, then maybe the screwing that I’ve been getting as of late isn’t normal either—and maybe I should be fighting back, instead of accepting my lot.

Comment:

This is a true story of a government program that supposedly tried to help a couple with their home payments, but the program was a sham.

Also, the post relates the story of the LIBOR scandal.  It appears that our leadership is morally flawed, and the condition is grave.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

NBC News Declared Dead: Microsoft Leaves MSNBC

The American Spectator via Free Republic

But it is abundantly clear that Microsoft has enough problems without having its brand associated with what has become a wacky, far-left media culture that specializes in hosts who have problems with racism, misogyny, gay bashing and religious bigotry.

Now comes the news that Microsoft and NBC News are getting divorced.

The "brand confusion" will be ended by renaming MSNBC as "NBCNews.com".

You would wonder how this could possibly be a fair fight between Romney and Obama, wouldn't you?  I mean, a big outfit like Microsoft splitting up with one of your allies?

Yet you cannot get around the fact of demographics.  The nutty leftists may be running the show after November.  Not exactly predicting it, but numbers don't lie.

Cities going bankrupt in "Collyfornia"

Maybe it ought to be called "Folly Fornia".  The governator failed his mission.

Well worth reviewing what Margaret Thatcher said about socialism and why it fails.

But Krugman and his ilk want more of the poison that is killing California, Wisconsin, General Motors and the rest of Western Civilization.

Taxes and Trust - The Achilles Heels of Obamacare and Obama, Part II

Free Republic via Breitbart

By raising the specific issue of the tax, Republicans can also raise the specific--and scary--issue of an engorged IRS, engorged by the need to enforce the new tax. Thus, by voting solely against the tax, Republicans can also vote to strip the power of the IRS to snoop through every American’s personal and medical records in the name of enforcing ObamaTax.

A better solution would have been to declare it unconstitutional, which it is.  Now we are reduced to calling a penalty a tax, and then trying to craft a campaign upon it.   You can call it whatever you wish, but the bill is rotten to the core.  The reason that it is rotten to the core is explained in the article.  To be brief, it is thus: it is an attempt by the left of self aggrandizement under the guise of improving matters for the average folks.  It does no such thing.  It makes matters far worse.  It is bad policy through and through.

An honest explanation is better than political spin.  But the challenge is greater.  Unfortunately, that is the predicament that the Supreme Court has put us into.

Simberg: “Why Doesn’t The Press Report On This?”

Transterrestrial Musings

I told him that Elon Musk personally financed the company for all of its first $100 million, when no one else would bet on the venture, and he saw it through thick and thin, including the first three launches of the Falcon 1, all of which failed spectacularly. As I told him these stories of heroic entrepreneurship, I could see his mind turning. He found a reconciliation: “I never read any of this in the news. Why doesn’t the press report on this?”

The $64K question.  After all, that is what this blog is all about. (See the "About the Blog" on the sidebar.)

The media continually fails us.   Somebody has to step into the breach, or the ship will go to the bottom.

Next Big Future: Sabre spaceplane engine technology on track and fu...

Next Big Future: Sabre spaceplane engine technology on track and fu...: BBC News - Reaction Engines is showcasing its revolutionary Sabre engine technology at the Farnborough air show. They are two-thirds of the...

Comment:

This is a progress report on the Skylon Spaceplane concept.  By the way, I've added Skylon to my index page for navigation.  Just type in "skylon" in the google search box and you should be able to find all the posts on skylon on this here blog.  It is at the top of the page, as indicated in the pic below:

Media said that Romney was booed at his NAACP speech, but did you hear this?

National Review Online---The Corner

As Blitzer noticed, it was respectful. He even got a standing ovation — a Republican, at the NAACP convention — besides the applause he received for his commitment to defend traditional marriage.

What did I say before about black folks?

Health Care Explained [OregonMuse]

Ace of Spades HQ

Actually, this is just common sense. Will people pay attention to common sense? Or will the idiocracy prevail?

The answer to that question may be in the numbers. Sigh.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The UN Decides To Tax The US

Dick Morris TV: Lunch Alert!

Morris explains a theory of how we can be obligated to honor a treaty that hasn't even been ratified yet.  That means a tax can be imposed with nothing more than a signature on a treaty.  But this would appear to be illegal under the US Constitution.

According to the Constitution, the House must first pass a law raising taxes, which in turn goes to the Senate for approval.  All revenue bills must originate in the House.  But this treaty would impose a tax by nothing more than a signature of the President or a cabinet official.  This cannot possibly be legal under the Constitution, but who knows after what the Supreme Court just did with Obamacare.

Krugman gets slammed

ace

Pedro takes the stage at 35:00 (or thereabouts). Krugman begins responding at around 48:00. Worth watching; maybe mark it for later.

Comment:

Don't have time to go over this in detail as it is a very long video.

Been reading Krugman and Frank, as much as can while I have time during work.  Krugman likes to use the term "backlash" which is a term that is also used in Frank's work.  I've posted briefly on what Frank wrote about "backlash" and it is basically projection of what the left does itself.  As for Krugman's idea of backlash, it seems to be more about the claims of racism than anything else- basically the Republicans are just unreconstructed Confederates in Krugman's universe.  Krugman's "backlash" isn't the same thing as Frank's, but they are both fond of the term.

John Sununu Laughs at Andrea Mitchell Defending Obama's Use of Bogus Romney Outsourcing Claims

freerepublic

It really has been hysterical watching the Obama-loving media the past few weeks defend the President using bogus information reported by the Washington Post falsely accusing Mitt Romney of outsourcing jobs while at Bain Capital. 

All you have to do is look for results of all the spending and you see that there isn't any results.

Some of this stuff Sununu talks about is news to me.  I thought it was bad, but it is even worse than I thought and that is saying something.

Government Laser Scanners Will Scan You From 164 Feet Away

freerepublic


Within the next year or two, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will instantly know everything about your body, clothes, and luggage with a new laser-based molecular scanner fired from 164 feet (50 meters) away. From traces of drugs or gun powder on your clothes to what you had for breakfast to the adrenaline level in your body—agents will be able to get any information they want without even touching you.

This looks for real.  It also looks like it can be abused and it probably will be abused.

Ace: Zombie Reviews/Rebuts George Lakoff's "Little Blue Blook"

archives

George Lakoff is a tip-top thought leader among progressives. His new book -- titled as a tip of the hat to Chairman Mao's Little Red Book -- contains further elaborations and prescriptions. Corrected: I incorrectly stated he wrote What's the Matter With Kansas?, too, a similarly smug read on politics. But in fact that was a completely different asshole, name of Thomas Frank.

Comment:

Actually, this allows me to swerve into the topic of Frank's book.  Frank's major thesis is that social issues are being used to advance economic policies that are adverse to working class interests.

A response to this thesis is that it is another example of projection.  It is projection because the left does the same thing that Frank is accusing Republicans of doing.  But instead of using social issues like the conservatives are alleged of doing, the left uses economic issues to move the social agenda.

A prime example of that is how black voters are overwhelmingly Democratic, yet do not share the goals of the leftist social agenda, such as gay marriage.   Blacks like affirmative action, which is an economic policy.  It is for these reasons, and social spending, that they will vote Democrat.  But they don't vote for the gay marriage because Blacks tend to be more religious than white folks.  Blacks are just the kind of voters that Frank says should be prime targets for the Republican messaging, but it is the other way around.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What’s Going On In California?

This is a disgrace. I may not live long enough to see the consequences of this extraordinary failure and that may be a blessing.

That reminds me.  I'm going back over the book "What's the matter with Kansas?", but that book was talking about the wrong state.  These liberals have a lot of gall to write about anything critical about conservatism when they should take a good look in the mirror at themselves and one of their own bluest of the blue states.

Articles: The Norwegian 'Miracle'

Articles: The Norwegian 'Miracle'

Obama’s Poll Blip Fades

Dick Morris TV: Lunch Alert!

Morris says Obama is going to get clobbered.

Somebody out there has to keep their chin up- I guess it's Morris.  Maybe we all should.

Not just here, but Europe too

Things may be pretty bad here, as I've indicated in the previous posts.  But this story is another indication that it is a problem in all of Western Civilization.

To be more clear, I cite this headline from Ace of Spades

The LIBOR Scandal: Banks Dishonestly Manipulated Key Interbank Lending Rate In Order To Make Their Own Outsized Borrowing Seem Less Risky

I've suspected for a long time that the key economic numbers that we are given are bogus.  This is just a prime example of it.  Another:  let's see.  Obama is bragging about how he saved GM.  Do you know that most of their sales have been to the government?  That's right.  The government is propping up GM in more ways than one.  Another example:  most of the bonds sold to fund the deficit are being bought by the government itself.  It is all a house of cards.

Everything, and I do mean everything is breaking down.

PFGBest equal MFGlobal 2.0

By the way, what does MF remind you of?  If it does, you may be on the right track.  We are dealing with first-class, top-of-the-line mofos here.

"Going Galt" may be the only way to deal with what is coming.

The tipping point

At what point does the election become meaningless?

Is it when "Almost 50% of Americans on government assistance"?

Is it when "Whites Account for Under Half of Births in U.S."?

Is it when Nearly Half of All Americans Don’t Pay Income Taxes?

On Limbaugh's show yesterday, he wondered why Obama's re-elect numbers aren't a lot lower, like in the thirties.  A lot of these numbers mentioned above are late breaking trends.  That means that it may have snuck up on us.  It also means that the tipping point may have been reached.  Hate to say it but maybe Obama can't be beat because of the numbers.

It isn't a matter of morality. It isn't a matter of better messaging.  It isn't a matter of a better program.  It isn't a matter of more campaign money.  It is just the wrong kind of numbers.  The ones that go against you and you can't do anything about.

When the numbers turn against you, it is no longer a performance election.  It is an identity election.  It is who you are, not what you believe.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Are Americans too dumb for their own good?

Something in Krugman's Conscience of a Liberal that begs for discussion.

Americans still tend to say, when asked, that individuals can make their own place in society.  According to one survey, 61% of Americans agree with the statement that "people get rewarded for their effort," compared with 49% in Canada and only 23% in France.  In reality, however, America has vast inequality of opportunity as well as results.

There are many ways to look at this.  One way is to say that Americans are really dumb and don't know that they are getting the shaft.  That's the way Krugman looks at it.  Another way to look at it is that it is accurate- effort is rewarded and lack of effort is not.

Yet another way to look at it is to take a cue from Krugman's own discussion.  He shows that France really does have a generous safety net- or much more generous than the one in America.  The question then arises is why aren't the French much more happier about that, and why aren't the Americans more unhappy?  It would seem that there some severe discrepancy in Krugman's discussion.  Perhaps all of the penalties against success that Krugman lauds about in French society actually shows up in that survey for the French.  Maybe the French just don't see the point in trying harder- because if you do, you won't see the reward from it.  Their government will tax it away from you.

It is all in the way you look at it.  Krugman is unhappy about the inequality.  But most Americans don't seem to be.  Yet the French don't seem to be happy with all of their equality.  Or, there's another explanation.  Maybe the French would rather get rewarded for effort and also have their welfare state.  But sometimes, if you would just bother to think about it, you will find that two incompatible ideas cannot exist at the same time.  In order to expect to get rewarded for effort, somebody should be willing to accept some inequality.  Otherwise, why should anybody make the effort?  If the final result is going to be the same anyway, why bother?

Al Fin Energy: The Great and Devastating German Green Energy Folly

Al Fin Energy Blog

Wind and solar power supporters invariably undestimate the costs of their favourite forms of energy, because they never take into account the costs of intermittency, or the costs of ancillary infrastructure which must be built to support and back up the intermittent unreliable forms of energy they prefer.

Comment:

But what if they do take it into account?  What I mean is that these supporters don't consider the additional and hidden costs as a bug, but a feature.  It is what I meant by rent seeking behavior.   They don't seek to create value for their customers, but seek to extract blood from their victims.

The Energy Revolution Part One: The Biggest Losers

Walter Russell Mead, Via Meadia

  • Over the past year, we’ve been watching a geopolitical revolution get underway. It’s much bigger and more consequential than the Arab Spring, though the legacy media are giving it much less play.
  • A new age of abundance for fossil fuels is upon us. 
  • The two biggest winners look to be Canada and the United States.
  • If the US, Canada and Israel are the likeliest big winners, the biggest losers in the coming shift will be the Gulf petro-states and Russia.
Comment:

The politics of this hasn't been discussed.  The green factions are not going to like the new abundance of fossil fuels.  They will fight this tooth and nail.  So the green factions had better come up with a new plan, or they may well end up as losers in the political power struggle.  You could address this issue of carbon dioxide emissions this way.

Terraform cycler asteroids, part 8

Speculation alert

As of the last post on this proposition, the speculation was that a LFTR could fit inside a rocket and could be put into space. It would seem that this is confirmed with this pic below:

The size and shape looks favorable to something that could be launched into space

Fifty megawatts of power available in space is nothing to be sneezed at.  The LFTR could  be spun up according to the scheme outlined in previous posts.  This is so it could behave the same way as it does on the ground -- with "gravity".

What could be done with all that power?

The scheme so far is to power a station to an asteroid. But could something like this work near Earth?

Why not scoop some atmospheric gases from the edge of space?


I had an entire series of posts which explored the idea of gathering gases from the edge of space.  This concept is not far-fetched at all.  The main difficulty is in getting the necessary power to the spacecraft that will do the gathering.  Lots of power is necessary.   The LFTR could provide more than enough, which could be beamed down to the gathering module.  Once enough has been gathered, it can be brought up and deposited in a higher orbit so that it can be used for beyond LEO missions.

Hydrogen would be desirable, but this isn't easily available from the edge of space.  The hydrogen may come from the harvesting of water from asteroids and/or the moon.  If these processes can be perfected, the need to bring them out of the deep gravity well will have been eliminated.  That's the general idea.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Rush - The Seeker

This was supposed to have lyrics, but I don't see 'em. Okay, I'll put it up anyway.

By the way, I'm supposed to be super depressed because I put up so many videos.  At least that's what a study claims.

Balderdash!

Ann Coulter: Fighting the Last War

Apr 11, 2012

In a fast-changing world, a common mistake is to keep fighting the last war.

She was talking about the Republican nominating process, but she may as well have been talking about the entire country.  If it isn't Republicans fighting the last war, it is Obama fighting the last war.  Between the two of them, we may still be able to win WW II.  But winning anything else is definitely in question.

With that last link, the following quote was of most interest:
We often excoriate armies for getting ready to "fight the last war."  In some sense, they all do that.  It's unavoidable.  The real problem, however, is that they train based on mistaken notions of what the next war will be like.  And they always will, until someone devises a way to peer into the future.

Perhaps you don't have to peer so much into the future as into the present.  It was Sun Tsu who said know your enemies and yourself and you don't have to fear the outcome of a hundred battles.   Does this country know itself when it overlooks what it had in its own back yard for over forty years?  I'm referring to the Molten Salt Reactor experiment.  Does this country know its enemy when it couldn't stop 19 men from plunging us into a costly and divisive war?  That was a reference to 9-11 of course.

We have to get back to some basics or things will get worse.

Barak to the future?

That was on a bumper sticker back in 2008.  It is actually an apt metaphor, but not for the reasons Obama's supporters think.

The reason it is apt is because Obama is stuck in the past and he can't get back.  There's no Doc Brown to help him either.  As for the bumper sticker implying that Barak himself is the equivalent of Doc Brown, well that allows me to paraphrase what Lloyd Bentsen said to Dan Quayle in the '88 debate--  "Doc Brown was a favorite movie character of mine, I know his movies, I know his capabilities, and you Barak, are no Doc Brown!"

Krugman isn't Doc Brown either.  Krugman is stuck in the thirties.  He thinks Bush was Herbert Hoover.  He thinks today is like the Gilded Age of Robber Barons.  That may fool some people most of the time.  But those days, people were different than today.  They were probably a bit more like the Japanese, who save their money.  People today don't save enough money, and spend like drunken sailors on leave.  Krugman's ideas can only lead to greater debt, but without the savings that would enable that debt to be serviced.  We would still be stuck in the past.

We've been down the Krugman's Keynesian route.  Back in the late seventies, there was the same mode of thinking as of today.  Let's just spend our way out of our problems.  Let's learn to make do with less.  It was known as Jimmy Carter's little malaise pills.  They didn't give us a cure then, why should they do so today?

Barak likes to blame Bush, but Bush is qualitatively no different from himself.  Actually, Bush followed Keynesian doctrines too with his own version of a stimulus.  It didn't work, which shouldn't be too surprising with the poor track record.  Bush did do some supply side tax cuts, but it wasn't nearly what Reagan offered.  But Bush was no Reagan, as he gave us new entitlements, and additional new Keynesian type spending.  Blaming Bush is the same as blaming himself in some ways.  Yet, Bush's record was better at job creation than Barak.  Bush was more on the right track with his supply side tax cut than Barak's spending and tax increases. 

Bush wasn't quite there with tax policy.  We actually need some new growth drivers That's the way out of this mess.  But Barak is too beholden to environmentalism and doesn't really like economic growth.  Rather than that, he would prefer to spread the wealth around.  Huey P. Long thought up a similar idea during FDR's day.  That idea goes even beyond the New Deal.  It is also in the past, which confirms his behavior pattern.  Environmentalism is so far in the past, it is reminds one of Mathusianism, which was thought up over two centuries ago.  Talking about being stuck in the past!

Our most recent fling with prosperity was in the nineties.  There was a growth driver called the world wide web.  Find something similar to that, and you may be on your way.

But that isn't likely with a guy like Barak Obama.  He's too stuck in the past to get us back to the future. He's no Doc Brown.

The U.S. May Have to Get Used to Slow Growth

Kevin Mellyn, MSN Money

  •  U.S. consumers are now living...like the one the Japanese have been living in for the past 20 years...slow growth, large government deficits, and a rickety banking system
  •  The point is, though, that people are adaptable and can learn to cope with a no-growth or slow-growth economy.
  • The Japanese have gracefully adapted to a world of slow growth and diminished expectations
  • The U.S. economy was driven for more than two decades by an oversize financial sector...The financial sector grew by increasing the availability of consumer credit and lowering its quality
  • The real choice is whether to live within your means with a good heart, as the Japanese do, or hope the credit bubble can be reinflated.  
 Comment:

I would agree with the part that says live within your means.  A credit bubble should not be reinflated.   What's needed is a growth driver such as the one that we had in the nineties.  The nineties growth driver was the world wide web.  The new growth driver can be energy.

The current US energy bill is a drain upon the economy.  With hundreds of billions going out each year at ever increasing prices- a reduction in that bill can add much buying power to the wallets of consumers.  Savings rates could also go up, which will aid in paying off the debt.  Besides that, additional risk capital could become available to fund new growth drivers as well.

A second growth driver could be the settlement of space.  Entire new industries could arise from that.  Among these are mining the asteroids for their precious metals, amongst other things.

Finally, the whole idea of reduced expectations is nothing new.  It was also seen during the late seventies.  Supposedly, the US had reached its Limits to Growth.  But those limits were found to be those that were imposed.  Such a thing could be happening again with the emphasis on "sustainable" growth- which is just a code word for no growth at all.  If that mindset can be overcome, and a new pro-growth mindset be substituted in its place, then a new era of rapid growth and progress can be achievable.  If this is not done, US consumers may as well get used to slow growth, because that is what the current policy makers want.