Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Last Days on Earth
And the people who question the global warming caused by humanity are the equivalent of holocaust deniers. Cranks not worth listening to. Yes, that is the comparison. Holocaust deniers. To punctuate their point they use a sound bite of Sean Hannity questioning global warming. See! That idiot questions global warming. Do you want to be on the same side as Hannity?
Al Gore makes an appearance. This summer's heat wave during July was mentioned as a symptom. Nothing about the the weather breaking and the rather pleasant August. And the hyper-hysterical world flooding graphics. Nothing like television news scaring the crap out of the populace.
Stuart Taylor on the Duke Rape Case
Read the whole thing. Quite disgusting. They use every post-modern, deconstructionist stereotype in the book.
Like the headline, the piece cultivates a meretricious appearance of balance. But its flaws are so glaring that it was shredded by bloggers within hours after it hit my doorstep. They were led by a Durham group called Liestoppers and by KC Johnson, an obscure but brilliant New York City history professor of centrist political views. Johnson alone has produced more insightful (if sometimes one-sided) analysis and commentary on the Duke case—about 60,000 words—than all the nation's newspapers combined.
The Wilson-Glater piece highlights every superficially incriminating piece of evidence in the case, selectively omits important exculpatory evidence, and reports hotly disputed statements by not-very-credible police officers and the mentally unstable accuser as if they were established facts. With comical credulity, it features as its centerpiece a leaked, transparently contrived, 33-page police sergeant's memo that seeks to paper over some of the most obvious holes in the prosecution's evidence.
Ted Stevens must go
I suggest he be encouraged to retire. Soon. It is almost pointless to put up a primary opponent in 2008 because he is far more likely to die before then.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Steven Den Beste wrote something
No I haven't read it but do I need to in order to link to it? No. We just know it's good. (Via Instapundit. Another guy who needs all the links he can get.)
Monday, August 28, 2006
If you want to be happy for the rest of your life..
A) Pretty woman,
B) Axe murderer,
C) Career Woman.
Of course, he should have written this article anonymously. And he should have avoided using facts. Nothing pisses off a feminist more than facts.
In spite of those dangerous statistics, my husband and I are about to celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary. You'll see us snuggling at a mountain-winery concert this month, enjoying the occasion. I don't think I'm all that unusual--so it seemed like a good time to test Michael's grim assertions. [Emphasis added.]
Because anecdotal evidence from her life trumps facts.
The experts cited in his story think that professional women are more likely to get divorced, to cheat and to be grumpy about either having kids or not having them. But rather than rush to blame the woman, let's not overlook the other key variable: What is the guy doing? [Emphasis added.]
Of course (Slapping forehead) it's the man's fault. Actually, it is. He didn't have to marry a woman with a defective maternal instinct.
How to get a free business class flight back to the USA
by John Mark Karr.
The Path to 9/11
This is the first Hollywood production I’ve seen that honestly depicts how the Clinton administration repeatedly bungled the capture of Osama Bin Laden. One astonishing sequence in "The Path to 9/11" shows the CIA and the Northern Alliance surrounding Bin Laden’s house in Afghanistan. They're on the verge of capturing Bin Laden, but they need final approval from the Clinton administration in order to go ahead. They phone Clinton, but he and his senior staff refuse to give authorization for the capture of Bin Laden, for fear of political fall-out if the mission should go wrong and civilians are harmed. National Security Adviser Sandy Berger in essence tells the team in Afghanistan that if they want to capture Bin Laden, they'll have to go ahead and do it on their own without any official authorization. That way, their necks will be on the line - and not his. The astonished CIA agent on the ground in Afghanistan repeatedly asks Berger if this is really what the administration wants. Berger refuses to answer, and then finally just hangs up on the agent. The CIA team and the Northern Alliance, just a few feet from capturing Bin Laden, have to abandon the entire mission. Bin Laden and Al Qaeda shortly thereafter bomb the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, killing over 225 men, women, and children, and wounding over 4000. The episode is a perfect example of Clinton-era irresponsibility and incompetence.
Overall, I thought "The Path to 9/11" was infinitely better than Oliver Stone’s "World Trade Center" (granted, Stone decided to tell a narrower story), and if this is properly marketed, ABC should have a huge hit on its hands. The problem is that I don’t see ABC marketing it at all, and I’m concerned that they’re dropping the ball on getting the word out about this show. They’ve reportedly spent more than $40 million producing "The Path to 9/11," and yet I see little advertising or promotion anywhere. Conservatives need to really step in here and spread the word via talk radio and the internet. Every American, and everyone alarmed by Islamic terrorism around the world should see this miniseries. "The Path to 9/11" should get every Emmy award and Golden Globe award out there - if Hollywood is willing to be fair and open-minded. [Emphasis added.]
So this miniseries honestly portrays Clinton administration bungling of the handling of the terrorist threat and it is not getting advertised by ABC. I'm probably
This article was written by Giovindino Murty for Frontpagemag.com. She is co-founder of the Liberty Film Festival. Meow!
Friday, August 25, 2006
GOP 2008: Strawpoll
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
The Manhattan real estate market - with a median price now four-times the national average - has always been a law unto itself, but increasingly apartments are sitting on the market, unsold for months.
Although the average price per square foot of a Manhattan apartment hit a record $1,083 in the second quarter, the number of units on the market is at its highest in more than 10 years, according to Miller Samuel, the real estate research firm. The inventory in Manhattan rose from 3,922 units at the end of 2004 to 7,640 in the second quarter.
"We have a classic stand-off between buyers and sellers in New York," said Miller Samuel CEO Jonathan Miller. "Housing inventory is at the highest level since the late 1980s and demand has cooled off." [Emphasis added.]
Anyone wanna bet on the sellers winning this? I didn't think so. The reason why housing was the last sector to be affected by a recession is because people have the majority of their assets in their homes and while they are unwilling to be patient about a stock which has no tangible meaning other than a blip on a screen they do know the value of their home. That is, what they perceive the value to be. It is a peculiar habit that we humans have when we assign a high value to the familiar. The growing inventory of houses for sale at the same time as prices still increase is an artifact of this trait. Oh, wait a minute. We haven't had a recession. Yet. So why is housing leading the way down? We had a housing bubble. It is the only explanation.
It used to be difficult to find stories about the end of the housing boom. Now they appear on a regular basis. I don't watch any of the network nightly news shows so I don't know if the news has hit them but I would be surprised if it hadn't.
Margot Ray, a radio-ad saleswoman in Stockton, Calif., put her five-bedroom, three-bath house on the market in February for $480,000. There it sat, along with about 3,000 other homes for sale. She dropped the price to $465,000 in April. Nada. "We'd have an open house and maybe one or two people would come by. I had an open house where nobody came," Ray says.
In July, she had a brainstorm: Why not advertise on the radio? The ad put the house on the map. Now agents remember the address. The price is down to $427,000 and, at a recent open house where Ray raffled football tickets and a spa day, 15 groups of potential buyers showed up on a 107-degree day.
But it still hasn't sold.
Unfortunately for Margot Ray, this article is probably not going to make it any easier for her to sell her house. At least at the current price. What this article describes is a spiral of deflationary expectations or, as we used to say to say to reporters at the CBOT when prices went down, more sellers than buyers. Expectations are important because they can drive prices well beyond what appears reasonable. They are also very hard to change. Since housing price increases nationally were near zero last year I expect that prices will start down very soon and we will have a lot more people in the same situation as Margot Ray.
The National Association of Realtors said existing-home sales plunged 4.1% to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 6.33 million in July, its lowest level since January 2004. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch were expecting a decline to 6.56 million.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
NAHB/Wells Fargo Home Builders Index
The confidence of U.S. home builders collapsed in August, falling to the lowest level since February 1991, the National Association of Home Builders said Tuesday. The NAHB/Wells Fargo housing market index dropped by seven points to 32 in August, indicating that most builders think the housing market is poor. A year ago, the index was at 67. A reading of 50 would indicate builder sentiment was balanced between good and poor. The index peaked at 72 in June 2005 and has fallen in the 12 months since then. It's the fastest decline in the 21-year history of the index, which has had a fairly good record of predicting the number of new homes started. Builders in all four regions of the country are pessimistic about the market. [Emphasis added.]
Let's break this down.
-Lowest level of confidence in 15 years.
-Majority of builders pessimistic.
-Quickest decline in confidence in 21 years.
-Index has a good track record of predicting new home construction.
Let me add that according to the service that I use to track economic numbers that the index was expected to be 39, not 32, so it came in worse than the economists expected.
Yesterday, new housing starts for July came in slightly worse than expected; down 2.5% vs. expectations of down 2,.0% - 2.2%.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
The Piecemeal War Against the Jihadists
Israel was planning a major offensive but that is now on hold in anticipation of a U.N. lead ceasefire. Reports are that Israel had changed tactics from a small force which was going village to village uprooting Hezbollah as they went.
A recent poll says that 60% of Americans do not support the war in Iraq. A quick look at the poll shows that the number of people who want to withdraw all troops are a minority.
Sixty-one percent, however, said they believed at least some U.S. troops should be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of the year. Of those, 26 percent said they would favor the withdrawal of all troops, while 35 percent said not all troops should be withdrawn. Another 34 percent said they believed the current level of troops in Iraq should be maintained. [Emphasis added.]
Also, the number of those who thought we could win in Iraq was about evenly split. However, of those that thought we would not win thought we could but we would not.
Americans were nearly evenly split on whether the U.S. would win the war in Iraq. Forty-seven percent of poll respondents either said the United States would "definitely win" or "probably win." Another 48 percent either said the United States could not win, or could win -- but will not win. [Emphasis added.]
Unfortunately, there is no breakdown between the "cannot win" and "could win -- but will not" points of view. I would say that the no chancers are 26% given that is the percentage that want all of our troops out of Iraq. I think there is a huge gulf between those two positions and it reflects a growing feeling among supporters of the war that the US is not doing enough to win. I submit that the U.S. and even Israel are bowing to international opinion over national security. That the transnational progressive mindset that is in the majority in the diplomatic community causes the western world to pause when it comes to the use of violence against poor brown people.
Listen to Tom Delay at the end of this video clip. (Via HotAir.) Whatever we have done in Iraq I would be hard pressed to say when we have used "overwhelming force." There are times when it is right to use kid gloves in Iraq but we have backed down from fights in Fallujah and against Sadr and his Mahdi Army which we should not have, this is a sign of weakness which only encourages our enemies. This is the exact opposite position the left takes in which our aggressive pursuit of victory only produces more opposition.
From this poll I glean that support for fighting Jihadis has not dampened but many more people question whether we are fighting with sufficient vigor. I have to agree with this POV at times although I had problems with the Fallujah Delenda Est crowd. There has to be a path between hippie and Ghengis Khan. The onslaught of charges against our troops only strengthens the notion that we have given too many rules to our soldiers and so there is no point fighting a war without using the full strength of the military. Not to be brutal but recognizing that death and destruction sometimes results from the need to protect ourselves. Something the left will never acknowledge.
LGF has the video of "green helmet guy" directing the 'snuffed' film of a small boy in Qana. If you haven't watched it yet you need to.
Doed GHG have children of his own? How can a sentient human be so distgustingly cynical about the life of a child? How much hate must be surging through your body to make you stage a dead boy to further your own propaganda?
Bill C adds:
Green Helmut Guy has his own website. (Via Ace)
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
I ain't saying she's (Heather Mills) a golddigger...
$382 MILLION! For four years of marriage!
That is some magic poonani.
Kinda makes this guy seem like less of a jerk. I mean, arguably at least he was working unless there is something we don't know about Sir Paul.
That was before new corporate documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that revealed Raymond's retirement deal and his $51.1 million paycheck in 2005. That's equivalent to $141,000 a day, nearly $6,000 an hour. It's almost more than five times what the CEO of Chevron made.
Unbowed, Lieberman immediately announced he would enter the fall campaign as an independent. Only six years ago, Lieberman was the Democrats' choice for vice president.
"As I see it, in this campaign we just finished the first half and the Lamont team is ahead. But, in the second half, our team, Team Connecticut, is going to surge forward to victory in November," Lieberman said after congratulating Lamont.
It is possible Lieberman could change his mind in the next few days. If he disappears and rumors spread of heavy Democratic pressure to quit then he might. I think Joe knew he was going to lose but had a certain number in his mind which he would take as comformation that his loss was driven by national politics, not how the average Conn. citizen thinks of him.
Lamont won with 52 percent of the vote, or 144,005, to 48 percent for Lieberman, with 134,026, with 98 percent of precincts reporting.
A measly four percentage points is not enough to scare a sitting Senator. After a long period of time in office senators start to forget of themselves as Republicans or Democrats and I know Joe has crossed the threshold from partisan to national celebrity politician.
What this election says about national politics is that voters on both sides will turn out for an important election and that even in their own party the anti-war crowd is a weak majority. Enough strong defense Democrats exist that an explicitly pacifist presidential candidate does not have a chance. Which leaves the democrats exactly where they were in 2004, they must be vague about the war on terrorism for fear of alienating either side. Wishy-washy, flip-slopping candidates don't win.
Second, in Georgia the good people of Dekalb county had the taste to return Cynthia McKinney to retirement and, although, this will take away a leading nutcase which the Republicans could use to highlight the Democratic party it was a good thing for out nation. McKinney represented the worst aspects of the unhinged Democratic party and she was an embarrasment to her party and our nation. The fact that Democrats can recognize inappropriate behavior in a very high profile public figure will tend to dampen the over the top rhetoric coming out of the mouths of some Democratic politicians. Maybe.
A little honesty about political vandalism from the KosKids.
HotAir is all over the CT. election with videos.
WP, NYT, and RealClearPolitics weigh in. (Via RCP.) The meme is that this wasn't a loss for
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Yankees and Tigers
"I've never seen any of our pitchers not have enough stuff leaving the bullpen to get the job done," (Sox pitching coach Don) Cooper said. "I don't expect to see it. If you locate pitches, get ahead and throw strikes, and use both sides of the plate, you have a chance to win. If you don't make enough of those pitches, your chances for success are less."
"If you don't have it, you have to locate," (Sox catcher Sandy) Alomar added. "They might be tired, but if these guys can locate, they will be OK."
The Sox pitching has not looked good lately, especially the bullpen. Konerko and Thome have been hot recently but I'm afraid that it will not be enough to win the big games. I'd rather root for the Sox to win games rather than hope for the Twin's pitching injuries to continue and for the Red Sox to struggle out east in the hunt for the wild card.
The Sox pitchers need some good relief. They're losing games in innings 6-8 where they are either giving up a lead or being put away early by opponents. Their recent 6-3 road trip looks good in the standings but they didn't look like they were in control. They have the talent to beat the Yanks and Tigers in the next six games but if the pitching does not step up they will get pounded.
The very public breakdown of Deb Frisch
Remember, she apologized on July 8th.
But she couldn't let it go so now she has a restraining order against her. And she seems bent of aggravating the situation:
I am totally fine with allowing the temporary restraining order to become permanent by failing to show up in Denver, CO on August 15. It will be tough, but I will carry on if i cannot email count cockula or post comments on lipid stupidity. we've all got our crosses and scars to bear. i'll carry on, tho it will be tuff 4 sho to say good-bye to the ephed up mofo from colorado.
I do want to communicate the fact that Mr. Lewis of Moye/White and the judge that approved the temporary RO are utterly incompetent boobs. I am not sure if I need to show up for the RO hearing or if I can do that just as easily from ore E. gone.
The next step is to write a response to a letter I received from Paul Lewis, the count's shyster lawyer. The letter from shyster@moye/white.denver.colorado is below the fold:
Actually, the idiot sent it to me as a pdf file and i don't have the time to try to convert it to text.
what a moron dingbat lawyer!
if anyone has the inclination to convert a pdf file to a word file that I can cut and paste into this post, email me and I'll send you the pdf file and you can maybe figure out how to convert it to regular plain old text (YOU ARE A DINGBAT, PAUL - thanx for the pdf file, cuckoohead!) so I can paste it here for all the peeps to c.
d [Emphasis added.]
By all means keep insulting that judge. And post the photo of the attorney, that won't hurt I'm sure. Well she hasn't completely lost her grip on reality.
It has not escaped my attention that my behavior in the last month has become increasingly “terroristic.”
For her own good I hope she quits this soon.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Gripped by caution, employers slowed hiring in July, pushing the nation's unemployment rate to a five-month high and putting pressure on the Federal Reserve to take its foot off the economic brakes.
The Labor Department reported Friday that employers added just 113,000 new jobs in July, down from 124,000 in June the latest in a string of mediocre job gains in recent months.
With companies wary of increasing work forces in a slowing economy, the civilian unemployment rate jumped from 4.6 percent in June to 4.8 percent, matching the rate of last February. The last time the jobless rate was higher was in December, at 4.9 percent.
(Expectations are all that matter. The consensus view of what the percentage of unemployment and what is known as non-farm payrolls is the target.) The way the market reacts gives insight into the state of the market's mind. Ironically, I was talking with Bill O about this this past week.
There are two, obviously, directions the market could have moved. Stocks rallying would mean that the dominant psychology is prevailing. That is all bad economic news means the Fed will stop raising interest rates. A market driven by this psychology doesn't care about the state of the economy. The only concern is alternative investments like bonds and whether they will attract money from stocks. Bad news means the Fed will rethink is interest rate policy.
Well the market rallied then dropped. What does it mean. I'll tell you next week. What I can tell you is that the idea that bad economic news is good for the stock market will eventually be rethought. What is certain now is that we are moving towards recession. More later.
P.S. Did you notice the wording in the above quote, "Gripped by caution..."? I can imagine being gripped by terror, fear, horror but caution seems like a state of mind that would not 'grip' me.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
HDTV prices falling fast
Jane Hamsher likes photoshops
Let's see if she likes this one. (From the famous photo.) In case you missed it Jane Hamsher and someone named DarkBlack conspired to put up a picture of Joe Leiberman in black face on HuffPo; long since removed due to an attack of common sense. Hamsher gave one of those half hearted, if-you-were-sincerely-offended apologies because, of course, no Republican is offended by racism. She just did not want any sensitive leftist to put themselves into a tizzy. I hope she enjoys her fame.
A cartoon which explains why we should support Israel
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
9/11 Conspiracy Theorists
Housing Bubble = Lazy People
Mortgage applications are down 29% in the past year, reflecting a severe slowdown in the housing market after four years of strong growth.
Other indicators of the housing market point to a slowdown. Sales of new homes are down 11% in the past year. Sales of existing homes are down 8.9%. Housing starts are down 11% in the past year. The home builders' sentiment index is down 41 points in the past year to 39.
So all that is left is to report falling prices. Any day now, falling prices. Come on, fall already. Ok let's talk about something else. The New York Times had an interesting story about men who have dropped out of the workforce.
Alan Beggerow has stopped looking for work. Laid off as a steelworker at 48, he taught math for a while at a community college. But when that ended, he could not find a job that, in his view, was neither demeaning nor underpaid. So instead of heading to work, Mr. Beggerow, now 53, fills his days with diversions: playing the piano, reading histories and biographies, writing unpublished Western potboilers in the Louis L'Amour style - all activities once relegated to spare time. He often stays up late and sleeps until 11 a.m.
The jist of the story is that a lot of men have lost their jobs and decided to stay unemployed for years. Boy, can you imagine being that much of a jerk and not working? Neither can anyone who contributes to this blog. ;-O Oh, I did go there.
That is not how I feel. In fact, I am all about working as little as possible. Truth is I like what I do but I chose my profession for its relaxed lifestyle. Being self-employed is great and it gives me a very healthy understanding of the work/leisure balance. I like having things but there is only so much work I want to do to get them. As I get older, and get more stuff, I have become less desirous of stuff, toys, gadgets. I still lust over cars and boats and the latest gizmos but I don't have that childlike I MUST HAVE THAT LITTLE RED SPORTS CAR voice in my head. At least not as loud as it used to be.
So what does a a few men enjoying the easy life have to do with the housing bubble? Read on:
"I have come to realize that my free time is worth a lot to me," he said. To make ends meet, he has tapped the equity in his home through a $30,000 second mortgage, and he is drawing down the family's savings, at the rate of $7,500 a year. About $60,000 is left. His wife's income helps them scrape by. "If things really get tight," Mr. Beggerow said, "I might have to take a low-wage job, but I don't want to do that." [Emphasis added.]
That's right. Using his homes inflated equity to subsidize his early retirement.
"To be honest, I'm kind of looking for the home run," said Christopher Priga, who is 54 and has not had steady work since he lost a job with a six-figure income as an electrical engineer at Xerox in 2002. "There's no point in hitting for base hits," he explained. "I've been down the road where I did all the things I was supposed to do, and the end result of that is nil." Instead, Mr. Priga supports himself by borrowing against the rising value of his Los Angeles home. Other men fall back on wives or family members. [Emphasis added.]
Him, too. Add disability payments or a spouse who is willing to cover the difference and you have the recipe for an easy life. What troubles me is when this lifestyle is funded with borrowed money and we know that can't continue forever. This illustrates the danger of letting bubbles form in the first place. To put it more clearly, an asset price inflation creates winners and losers which has almost nothing to do with hard work and saving. Two traits our society ought to be encouraging but which get lost in the gambling mentality of the bubble. Why put forth much effort at your job when you can flip a house or load up on an IPO. Even the winners of the mania hurt the economy when productive people leave the workforce because they have no incentive to work.
I worry about our societies stability when people like the above mentioned need to find a job and, perhaps, move and the price of their home is less than their mortgage. There will be a thousand different stories of woe when housing prices start to fall. Any day now. FALL! Ok, just prepare yourself for worst and I'll shut up.