Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I think I disagree with Greenspan's opinion

So in case you haven't been following the recent pronouncements of the emperor sans clothes, Greenspan's latest opinion on how the government should address the mortgage crisis (which of course, as a side note, Greenspan created) is fairly straightforward. Phrased as simply as possible, it was: the government should take the money from people who are financially responsible and give it to people who are financially irresponsible.*

Now I'm not saying that's an unpopular opinion; in fact, most democrats share that philosophy in all their fiscal policies. I just happen to disagree with it. I tend to think the government should not interfere at all, or if they must interfere, try to reward the people who are responsible and discourage the people who are irresponsible. But that's just my opinion; and in a sea of idiots, I might be a very small minority.

* Alan phrased his opinion as: the government should print money and give it to people who bought houses they knew they could not afford. In essence, this means creating inflation to pay off their bad debts. Inflation, of course, only hurts people who saved their money instead of taking out loans they couldn't pay back to buy things they couldn't afford. So basically, penalize people doing what should be encouraged, and reward people doing what should be discouraged. Maybe he's angling for a position in Hillary's cabinet or something... or he could just be a moron.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Making money on the bailout

So, just some random current thoughts:

I wonder how someone could make money on a government bailout (other than, of course, being one of the idiots being bailed out)? I mean, if you know there's going to be a huge movement of money, there should be a way to profit on it, right? And you'd have to be pretty dumb not to foresee the government spending billions, if not trillions, of taxpayer dollars to bail out all the morons who bought houses they had no business stepping foot into, much less owning, at the expense of everyone else who was dumb enough to be financially responsible.

Is there a mutual fund which tracks government idiocy? What about a credit default swap for Americans who save money? An option to get a matching percentage of any bailout within the next 2 years? Credit default swap for the social security fund, maturing in about 40 years? Common...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

UN, emissions treaties, and our idiotic media

Wanted: news source which accurately and concisely spells out exactly why the US did not sign the Kyoto agreement, did not agree to the same basic idea in Bali, but still wants to reduce global emissions. If any news producers read this, the above is why most people think the news is no longer informing, but typically just left-wing fluff.

Ok, now that I've said that, I'll tell you the reason, but 1st, a quick question:

What would you think about a global emissions reduction treaty which imposed specific percentage reduction requirements on all signatory parties except the #1 producer of CO2 emissions in the entire world, who not only gets a free pass, but get to have the rest of the world pay them if they happen to reduce their emissions at all?

Yeah, that's what the US said too: f that.

How about you morons writing for the mainstream news organizations start reporting the story like it is, ie: "US reject idiotic treaty which would give #1 producer of CO2 emissions a complete pass while requiring less polluting countries to reduce emissions", instead of: "Bush ignores global warming". kthks

Monday, December 10, 2007

"Strike a Deal" people should "Get a Clue"

So the auxiliary Hollywood people (caterers, line producers, stage hands, etc.) had a march to urge the writers and studios to start negotiating again. I would say don't waste your time, although given that you're probably not working, it's probably not that much of a hardship. But let's review why your march is pointless:

1. Writers have proven they don't give a rats-ass about anyone but themselves; witness their shutting down streets and preventing unrelated people from getting to work. They could care less if you starve, as long as they preserve their $200,000 average a year.

2. Studios are all about business; the less people they have to pay, the better the bottom line. Since you're probably not making $200,000 average like the writers, you're more expendable and/or replaceable.

3. Here's the important point: Neither side is going to negotiate for another couple months; they just don't have the incentive. Studios won't negotiate in good faith until they are out of shows to show. Writers won't negotiate in good faith until their members (not you) are running out of money. It's pointless to negotiate now; neither party will be negotiating in good faith.

Give it 2 more months, at least. Yes, it's dumb that they can't possibly negotiate anything before then. But that's just the way the big, grown-up world works.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Followup on the mortgage bailout

It would seem I'm not alone in my feeling that the government should not be sticking its proverbial penis into the backends prison-style of the people who didn't behave financially irresponsibly during the housing boom. My sincere hope is that the backlash is so large that the democrat candidates (since the backlash will ensure a democrat wins next election) are forced to promise not to propagate any more bailout or handouts to people who don't deserve it.


Oh, wait... they're democrats. I guess that would be a pretty hard pledge to take; kinda like not raising taxes, or not wasting more money. Now that's an fantasy world in deed, lol.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Mortgage bailout and the raping of the free market

Quick economics brief:

Way back in the day, somebody came up with the idea that free markets basically regulate themselves (how's that for citing exact references). The idea is that as people do dumb things they lose money, and it's self-regulating, and people don't do really stupid things with their money and expect to keep it, because there's no parental figure which "refunds" your bad investments for no cost to you.

... until now. See, the federal government is loath to let bad things happen to the economy. Hence Greenspan, the great blower of bubbles, is praised for preventing people from taking losses by postponing them behind even bigger losses. It's reminiscent of the national debt: just keep spending and inflating the bubble, and don't think about when you run out of structural integrity, because bubbles bursting is apparently unthinkable.

It reminds me of the National Park Circus' approach to fires before they figured out controlled burns. They'd put out every fire, until there was so much dried-out finder everywhere, that when a fire started, it was impossible to stop until it burned down the entire forest. The difference between that and the national government managing the economy is that someone in the park circus actually figured out that you need to let small fires burn out to prevent huge fires from destroying everything.

The "solution" for the mortgage crisis is to let the comparatively small fire burn. I know, it's a duh to everyone not involved in bailout efforts, but somehow the people making those decisions are too stupid to see it. People who could not afford houses should lose them. Banks who made bad loans should take losses on them. Investors who bought CDO's backed by bad loans should take losses on them. If you don't punish the child for stealing a cookie, tomorrow he'll be robbing a bank, and thinking that there's no downside, because even if he's caught there will just be a bailout.

And it's not just the idiots buying houses they can't possibly afford; the smart investors who bought the CDO's are banking on the government bailing out the home-"owners". The only way to prevent people from inflating the next, even bigger bubble under the same assumptions, is to prove the assumptions wrong and not bail out the debtors; any bailout encourages more bubbles in the future.

So I ask the treasury department: are you trying to cause another, bigger housing crisis in the country, or are you too dumb to realize what you're doing? Which is it?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Man, so many people writing stuff online are morons

Ok, ok... I'll wait while you laugh at the irony of the title.

Now that that's out of the way, I read this article today, and a linked article:

Note the comments for the second article... I'll paraphrase:
- "Impeach Bush"
- "Bush is a child saying triple my allowance"
- "Bush is backmailing Congress"

Ok, let me say this slowly, so you helmet-wearing retards have a chance of understanding: You Are Morons. Seriously, just don't talk or write anything again, and please, for the love of Hillary, don't reproduce.

Here's a quick recap of how our government works, in case you missed the evolutionary step of walking on two legs (among many, many others):
- Congress (the people you currently like) specify funding for various departments of the government, don't dictate foreign policy, and don't dictate how each department spends its allocated budget
- The Executive (Bush, the anti-Christ to you people) dictates foreign policy, runs the military, and does not dictate the budget allocated to various departments

Now, what Congress is currently trying to do is dictate foreign policy, which is unconstitutional. The president is telling the American people that the result of decreased funding to the military will result in base closures, cutbacks, and other necessary measures to adjust to a change in funding level for that department, which is perfectly reasonable and 100% predictable from Congress' actions. If anything, the leaders of Congress should be impeached, for trying to defy the law and the Constitution by imposing foreign policy. And the morons who post the exact opposite extremist rhetoric due to their blind, zealous dedication to the anti-Bush religion should have their mouths stapled shut and their hands lopped off, for the betterment of the country and the gene pool.

That's my opinion.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

HD radio is dumb

Not sure how it is in other parts of the country, but in LA, there are lots of ads on the radio now for HD radio. It's the next cool thing... Listen to the hidden stations and be cool... Get crystal clear audio... Hear new channels...

Hey, HD radio people: fail.

Look, HDTV makes a lot of sense. Analog TV is not near a perfect visual resolution (which would be where pixels are too small for eyes to distinguish), and HDTV is a noticeable improvement. But... my radio is already pretty clear. It's not like you need a lot of bandwidth to represent sound very accurately; it's why MP3 audio files are an order of magnitude smaller than MPx/DIVX video files.

So what do I get if I buy a HD radio receiver? Commercial free radio? Nope. Clearer audio? Not that I'll be able to tell. Better reception? Doubt it. DRM on the radio broadcasts? Possibly. Different/new/interesting content? Nope. So, um... why would I buy this?

Yeah, fail.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

F government bailouts

The one thing the government shouldn't do after a risky venture that you don't want repeated goes belly-up is bail out the people who created the bubble and got you into the entire mess in the first place. The one g-damn thing which is the most important not to f up.

Yeah, they are that momentously stupid.

I'm beginning to agree with the calls to abolish the Fed. Either that, or nominate them to replace Al'Queda as the #1 threat the continued wellbeing of the United States. AAAAARG.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

F the democrats, part 2

So today, the democrats in Congress passed another war funding bill, again trying to attach a dictation of foreign policy as a rider, and again facing another certain veto from the while house. I'm not sure who they are trying to help, other than the industry which produces the paper the bill is undoubtedly written on (many times) before it is inevitably thrown away.

I'm torn about what to think. On the one hand, the democrats are retarded children, and should be slapped silly for their blatant repeated end-run around the Constitution attempts which accomplish nothing but wasting everyone's time and money, not to mention putting our military people in danger, which is deplorable. On the other hand, by steadfast refusing to do any other work or anything other than temper tantrum wastes of time, they are not passing other legislation which would undoubtedly injure the country more.

So I guess the take-home is that as stupid, brainless, and retarded as passing the same, unconstitutional, waste of time legislation is, be glad the democrats appear content to bash their retarded helmet-wearing heads into that wall over and over and over again, because at least their not running around with their diapers off crapping all over the rest of the metaphorical room. Oh, and F the democrats.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Seriously, F the democrats

Ok, everybody knows social security is running out of money. Everybody knows it's a Ponzi scheme, and everybody knows something drastic is going to happen to it in the next 40 years. It was a bad idea when it was created, it's a bad idea now, and it will be an even worse idea when it collapses, which is pretty much inevitable at this point.

So here comes Obama's "solution": let's take more money from the "rich" people in the name of increasing funding for social security, and then spend it on other stuff like we always do (last part implied by past actions). WHAT?!? Are you an f-ing moron? I fail to see how that even pretends to be a solution, or anyone outside of a clinical retard would think that's a good idea.

The greatest lasting good a philanthropist could donate to this country (or any other organization) would be an accurate model which correlates key decisions to long-term effects. That way whatever society eventually rises from the ruins of disasters created by moronic decisions can look back and say "for all their supposed good intentions, these decisions destroyed their organization, let's not repeat their horrendous mistakes." If there must be idiots like Obama in the world, and our society has enough bottom-feeding morons that he can be representative of a large chunk of our people, then I just hope the next dominant world power can learn from our incompetence, and just maybe elevate the human race above primate-level thinking ability. It's a dream...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ironic quote of the... year?

"Nobody is above the law."
- Pakistan's Musharraf

This after declaring marshal law, jailing protesters, abolishing the country's Constitution and having his aids draft a new one, removing the Supreme Court and installing a puppet court, and declaring his actions constitutional (in opposition to the removed Supreme Court's view). Bravo, giggles all around.

Note: This quote will also be nominated for the "Blatant Bald-Faced Lie of the Year" award, but faces still competition from the Iranian president's "these nuclear reactors are only for generating power", US Fed chairman Bernanke's "we foster a strong dollar", and the National Association of Realtors "this is a great time to buy a house", among others.

Movie sales down

This is kinda a PSA for the movie industry, in addition to a normal rant. Over the last couple of years, gross movie revenue has been down from the years before, and I guess some people are confused as to why that is the case. So, for anyone who doesn't know, consider this free information.

Movie ticket sales are down because the movie going experience has become terrible. Ticket prices have increased, concessions are ridiculously overpriced, and to add insult to injury, theaters are showing commercials before movies. You literally have to show up 30 minutes in advance of you movie, to see 30 minutes of commercials, followed by 20 minutes of trailers, followed by the actual movie. And that's for a movie which is not hot!

Get a clue, people. I am your target audience, and I've basically stopped going to movies because the experience is so bad. Here's what you need to do to get me back in the theater:
- Allow people to bring in food/drink (make the concession prices have to be competitive)
- Only show commercials if the tickets were free; if I paid to see a movie, I don't want to see that crap. That includes the interstitials promoting the theater chains.

That concludes this episode of get an f-ing clue. Stay tuned next time, when we talk about how adding useless crap to a DVD does not justify charging $20+ for something which would be basically free for you to produce without the extra crap, and how people would hate you industry a lot less if prices were less stupidly exorbitant.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Sympathy's gone

So a week ago, I thought the WGA's position was reasonable, the producers were the more greedy of the two groups (by a small margin), and I was sympathetic to their cause. Then today, they blocked the street to my work. So not only am I paying for all the police to stand around and direct traffic to a halt trying to get by their stupid group, but I have to drive through the traffic their creating trying to find a way to my job, which is totally unrelated to the entertainment industry.

Sympathy's gone; I hope the producers hold out forever, and I hope all the WGA people get fired and starve. Self-centered a-holes.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Email address entry confirmation

WFT is up with all these sites requiring people to copy/paste their email address while filling out their stupid "let's play hide the opt-out button" membership forms? I mean, I get that you want to make sure you have the right address to add to your "important marketing announcements" lists. But you can see email addresses fields; I'll know if I mis-typed it. Moreover, it's long, so I'm not going to actually type it twice.

So please, inform me: what benefit do you get from forcing me to copy/paste my email address when filling in your stupid form?

Monday, November 5, 2007

WGA strike opinion

Since everyone else has an opinion, here's mine:

It's utter BS that producers can't negotiate residuals for new media because the formats are too new and volatile. Saying that makes you look stupid and/or greedy (which you undoubtedly are).

Telling the producers that doubling your payment for DVD residuals was a hard and fast requirement of your bargaining position, and sticking to it until a day before the contract ended was moronic, WGA. They have every right to say you didn't negotiate in good faith, because you didn't.

I propose someone comes up with a fixed % value of profits (first runs and residuals) which will go to writers, probably per show format type, probably between 2% and 5%. Then write a contract where the writers get that %, no matter in what format the show is shown or distributed. Then negotiate the %.

That's my opinion.

Investing quandry

So say you were convinced that your currency was going to be devalued by some large amount every year for the foreseeable future; say 10% real inflation (or more) per year. Say you didn't want to move out of the country, but you wanted to make as much money as possible in investments. Furthermore, say you thought housing was going to tank for the next few years, domestic stocks were going to suffer, and you payed roughly 50% tax on gains.

What do you invest in? Just a hypothetical...

Friday, November 2, 2007

Taxes and Inflation

Been thinking about this for a while...

There needs to be a real measure of inflation, other than the BS CPI, which is basically made-up by the government. Once we have a real inflation index, the tax brackets should be automatically adjusted for inflation, and your income should be reduced by the inflated value of your net assets.

So, for example, say I have $100,000 in net assets, and there's 10% real inflation in a tax year. That would mean that the first $10,000 in income I make is tax-free (doesn't count toward graduated tax, effectively "below the scale"), because that's the effective natural increase in the dollar value of my net assets due to real inflation. The effect of this would be that if I'm only keeping pace with inflation (not gaining or losing any real net assets), I would not pay any taxes.

Contrast to the current system, where inflation is great for the government, and absolutely screws people who try to save money. To exemplify the point, say real inflation was 50% one year. If I have $100,000 in cash, I have to make $50,000 on it to keep up with inflation. But wait... I have a 33% tax rate, so I actually need to make $75,000 to end up with $50,000, just to keep up. But there's no way to avoid having to make 50% more return than inflation just to break even in net value, because you're taxed on your dollar gains, not your actual gains. You're much better off spending every penny you get; at least your salary will scale roughly with real inflation. No wonder nobody in the US saves any money, and everyone is in debt up to their eyeballs: the government promotes it.

Issues like this make me wish that not all the politicians running the country were actively screwing the people.

Tecate lite commercials

If I ever get really rich, I'm going to start a public interest group to take out advertising spots to advocate how stupid other ads are, and/or provide more information after ads which are distortive, misleading, or just dumb.

Take, for example, Tecate Lite's recent ads, where the woman complains about beer bottles, and the man defends them as not beer, but rather cervesa. Now in case you don't know, cervesa is Spanish for beer. So either the guy doesn't know Spanish (he disproves this later), or he's a moron.

But moreover, the company making the spot is telling the listeners that they are morons, because you're expected to buy into this argument and realize the because they are using the Spanish word for beer, the product is better than normal beer, and sexy, and cool. No matter what you think about various beer brands (including Tecate you morons), using a different language does not change the nature of the product, nor does it make you cool for implying that your target audience is stupid enough to buy into it.

My hypothetical public service company would take out a follow-up spot, and clarify that the company is saying that people who buy this product are morons, and if you don't understand why, then by all means go ahead and buy it. And while you're at it, drink yourself to a Darwin award for the good of our species.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Bush's AG nominee

Something just has to be said, and this blog seems as good of place as any. Normally, I've been pretty anti-democrat thinking recently, with their constant stream of "whaa, whaa, Iraq bad, whaa" bs and their constant "spend more" "solutions" to every ill facing America. But, in this case, it's the Republican's who are looking retarded.

Normally, I'd be chiding Congress for wasting time blocking nominations, wasting time passing "statement" legislation, wasting time loading up bills with pork barrel spending, wasting time grandstanding, and generally just being asses. Not that they have stopped doing any of those things (see their approval rating), but for the AG hearings, surprisingly, they have a good point. The AD nominee should be able to state, clearly, for the record, if certain practices legally constitute torture or not; period, full stop.

Sure, if you say it is torture, Congress is going to demand you (as AG) put an end to it (which you should do with this answer), and/or investigate the Executive (which you should refuse to do, unless it continues in your tenure). Sure, if you say it's not, the Democrats are going to paint you as a torture supporter who's catering to Bush's interpretation of the laws, and may not support you. Yes, it's a lose/lose proposition to answer it clearly. But... THAT'S YOUR GD JOB! Someone who can't clearly answer that, or any other clearly explained legal question, has no business being the Attorney General for the United States. The job where you dodge all the questions with malleable answers is in the press secretary area.

I hate to say it, but Congress, in the case, is in the right. Send this guy to the press room, and make Bush produce someone with the testicles (actual or effective, his choice).

Friday, October 26, 2007

When to buy real estate again

Good metric to remember, writing it hear for reference:

Prices will be stabilized approx when housing supply drops to ~4 months, and stays there for a while. The figure I read was below 6 months for a year. Particularly relevant for existing home sales, but should be similar for new home sales.

For reference, it's at ~11 months currently.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Electoral College: good idea

I've been wanting to write this somewhere for a while, and the black hole of the internet seems as good of place as any. After the last presidential election (when the candidate who won the popular vote didn't win the election), everybody who didn't want Bush to win harped on the electoral college as an antiquated system which produces the "wrong" result. The antiquated might be right, but it was a good idea at the time, and it still could be a good idea, it just needs to go further.

Way back in the day, presidents were not elected directly, because there was no way to really know the candidates beyond hype, word of mouth, and advertising (sound familiar?). The founding fathers wanted good people running the country, not the people with the most advertising, so the instituted a system whereby instead of voting for a person, you basically nominated someone to vote for you who knew the candidates and could pick the candidate closest to your views.

The original system has been somewhat perverted by the advent of large-scale media, but ironically, if we wanted to preserve the original intent of the college, we could do so better than ever with modern technology. Back when the system was created, it was hard to track and tabulate votes, so the college had to be small and specific (a few people from each state). Now, with computers, you could have every person in the country be an elector, and vote for whoever they wanted...

... or you could allow people to entrust their vote to someone else who could really examine the candidates, get past the hype, and pick the one which was the best ("proxy" your vote). This was the original intent of the system, and could be realized today. Moreover, you could chain proxy votes, and/or vote directly if you wanted to. Best of both worlds: direct say if you want, or entrusting someone who shares your views with your voting power.

Anyway, the electoral college was a good idea, and people who are too dumb to see past their own political views to see that should not be electing anyone anyway, imo.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Vista, anti-piracy, and pure awesome

So Microsoft apparently activated a Vista feature to shut down pirated versions of Vista. Ok... but they also sent out a message to OEM to inform them, and tell them "don't risk it, get official MS products." This a couple weeks after their WGA servers went down and people registering Vista were told they had pirated software or something.

You might see this as unfortunate timing, but I see a great marketing opportunity. Microsoft is 100% right: don't risk it! Nothing sounds more risky to me than running an OS which will destroy your data if it can't talk to Microsoft servers regularly, or there's a data error, or a programming mistake in the verification, or MS doesn't like your company, or any number of other things. Don't risk it; don't run Windows! Marketing genius, I tell ya.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Cool page:

Basically it's the real monetary numbers for the US (adjusted to counter the political driven skew which has been increasing for the last 20 years or so). For example, the CPI calculated assuming you bought the same quality goods over the entire period (instead of the current calculation, which assumes you buy cheaper stuff when you have less money, making the official CPI pretty worthless for measuring actual inflation).

It's beyond my understanding of economics and data manipulation to estimate if the fake (official) CPI will ever "catch up" to the actual CPI, and thus reflect actual inflation, but I'm guessing not. Anyway, it's always good to know the real numbers, knowledge = power and whatnot...

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Solution for primary date-hopping

So every state wants to have their primary 1st, and all the "we're first" states are engaged in a childish game of oneupmanship to see who can be the last person to set a date for their primary and "win". Soon, primaries will be so far before the actual elections, you might as well schedule them at the same time as the previous election; at least it's a good minimum.

Hey, I got a solution for all you geniuses in the various states who want to be competitive for the right to have politicians actually care how your state votes in its primary. Instead of playing leapfrog with all the other kids, pass a law which sets your primary date as the same day as the earliest primary held by any other state. Once you have 20 or so states with this law/procedure in place, it won't matter which of the "we're 1st, nah nah" states actually gets the first primary date, cause half the nation will automatically also vote at the same time.

Moreover, it cuts the Gordien knot of multiple states having laws which set their primaries "x days before" the earliest other state, since the new law doesn't set a primary date explicitly at all. Let New Hampshire and Iowa wrestle over the proverbial baby rattle, and whoever wins automatically becomes irrelevant as they implicitly set the primary date for California, Florida, and all the other states with real electoral power. GENIUS!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

With friends like these...

I can't help but think how appropriate that saying is to the current Congress and their effect on the next presidential election. In my mind, there could be no more effective campaign propaganda for republican candidates than the liberal media filling the news mediums with endless stories of Congress' partisan, childish, pointless wastes of time and money whining about partisan crap.

We (the American people) get it: you don't like Bush, or any republicans. We got it 6 years ago. We understand that you will condemn anything any republican does. We get that you will stop at nothing, and leave no option unexplored, in your quest to damage republicans just because they are republicans. We get that there's no substance or reason behind any opinions you have, other than they are the opposite of the republican opinions. Your motivation is only to hurt republicans. You don't give a rat's ass what happens to the country, as long as the republicans suffer. You have made all of this very clear.

Want to know why you're the most disliked Congress in history? Isn't it obvious?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

On soda and health problems

The study:
There's a correlation between people who drink soda (regular or diet) and people who have heart problems.

The idiotic news media interpretation:
There's a causality between drinking soda and having heart problems.

The restatement of the study conclusions, for the slow people who might otherwise come to (and write about) a totally incorrect interpretation:
Fat, unhealthy people are more likely to drink soda than healthy people.

Now, anyone who wouldn't read my restatement of the study conclusions and say 'duh...'? Funny how couching something that simple in scientific jargon like 'correlation' and rearranging it causes a stirring of the stupids.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Why you should work with Realtors?

So I heard a funny commercial, promoting why you should work with a Realtor to buy your next home. Among the selling points was how Realtors understand the market and can guide you in making a smart decision. This was followed shortly by how rates are still low, there are lots of properties available, and it's an excellent time to buy.


It would take a special kind of moron to think that this is a good time to buy a house in Southern California, what with the bubble in the process of popping and prices about to go through the proverbial floor. I can't imagine a worse thing to tell people to promote yourself as a valuable asset because you understand the market. Just... wow.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Today's thought:

There should be a new category for movie classification: the Distortumentary. A production in documentary format which intentionally distorts the facts, accounts, theories, and information presentation to serves a personal or political interest.

Recent pioneers of the field would be Michael Moore and Al Gore, although I'm sure there are many more in the history of film making. So many, in fact, that I think these artists deserve their own category for their bold and occasionally creative mix of fact, fiction, and spin.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Approval ratings

Bush's approval rating: ~35%
Congress' approval rating: ~14%

Just lending credence the the idea that no matter what the republicans do, the democrats will find a way to do something more ridiculously moronic. Way to hit a new (all-time) low guys.

Oh, and I'd like to reiterate my prediction of Thompson in '08. With the way the democrats are behaving in Congress, I'd probably bet on a trained monkey if the republican's ran one. Which is sad, cause it would be nice to steer the country more towards the center. Maybe by '12 someone will get the lunatics away from the controls of the democratic party... don't count on it, though.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Some days, politicians do good things

I know, it's pretty rare. But occasionally in the midst of all the partisan bickering, sniveling, infighting, railroading, grandstanding, and generally wasting time and huge amounts of money, somebody does something right.

In this case, it was Bush commuting Libby's sentence. Sure, he probably wanted to pardon him, but that can always be done later, a-la "11th-hour slick willy".

Oh, and just in case you don't agree, let's review:
- Partisan trail looking for a scapegoat and a soapbox
- Libby not accused of leaking anything (despite the media focus)
- Libby a "good guy" from all accounts, doing his job
- Convicted for inconsistent statements over two years of interrogation by hostile lawyers, and on the basis of personal recollections of events
- Given a ridiculously large sentence on the encouragement of a very biased prosecution and a somewhat biased jury

Basically, a sham trial of a scapegoat, convicted for giving statements inconsistent with other [hostile] witnesses, and had the book thrown at him by a hostile court. That's why the president is given the power to commute sentences and pardon people: to fix miscarriages of justice. And every once in a while, the system works.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Fascinating economics blog

This is a cool blog:

Really interesting predictions on the future behavior of the economy, effects of policies, etc. The writer is an ex software engineer, so it makes sense that it would make sense.

Presidential Election, 2008

My prediction: Fred Thompson. Yeah, he's not officially running now. But he's going to win. Anyone who's not utterly repulsive to the independent voters could beat "55% hate" Hillary, and although Thompson is playing up the conservative issues for the primary, he's not nearly right-wing enough to allow a left-wing wacko to win the general election. So unless something strange happens, I'm predicting Thompson in '08.

Just wanted to put that up as an opening test of blogging, cause it's what I'm currently thinking about. :)