Thursday, September 27, 2007

 

7 Life Lessons I Learned Playing Halo


I know the chance that any of you will read this is near zero, still I will strongly urge you to do so because I found it incredibly relevant to trading and you might find it pertains to what you do.

So don't hesitate because it is death. (Chuckle.)

Also, it really makes me want to buy a Xbox 360. At this point I really think I picked the wrong system. Not that I have a huge amount of time to play video games. (See picture.)

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Silence in Syria, Panic in Iran

But the identity of the target is not the story - for the primary point of the attack was not to destroy that target. It was to shut down Syria's Russian air defense system during the attack. Doing so made the attack an incredible success. Syria is shamed and silent. Iran is freaking out in panic. Defenseless enemies are fun.
Yes, this would be very good news if it is true. Although it bothers me that we are letting Iran know our capabilities beforehand. I imagine a lot of Russian engineers are working double time to figure out what happened.

 

DirecTv adds new HD channels

You might need to unplug your box to reset it for the channels to appear on your guide. Channel 510 has a list.

Here is more info: Channels added with more coming in the near future and HDphiles hailing the day and and giving their impressions. Bill O, this is the reason you want DirecTv.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

 

George Soros


The Republicans should start to make MoveOn.Org and Soros an issue in this campaign. They are playing really dirty and they need to called on it.

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Duke non-Rape Case Aftermath

KC Johnson excoriates the group of 88 and their stubborn refusal to change their minds in the face of evidence that they were totally wrong. Does not leave me with a lot of hope that any progress in Iraq will be acknowledged by the Literati.

John Leo has a list of things you probably didn't know about the peripheral aspects of the case. Gotta say it isn't shocking that the nurse activist who reported Mangum's condition was quoting feminist dogma.

Tara Levicy, the nurse who reported on the condition of Crystal Mangum after the alleged rape, shrugged off the absence of physical evidence of assault and the lack of lacrosse-player DNA with a feminist slogan: "Rape is about power, not passion."


And false rape charges are about revenge.


Diego adds: Revenge is a good way to put it but I think some women want to change the definition of rape. Based on arguments I've read and heard over the years I've begun to realize that some really define rape as regret. To put it simply then if a women feels bad after interacting with a man then the man is at fault. The actual events that took place are irrelevant.

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Ahmadinejad's NYC Itinerary

An outrageous request

Not content with his visit to the UN, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants to do a little site seeing while in NYC:
In a move that has stunned New York, the Bloomberg administration is in discussions to escort the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to ground zero during his visit to New York next week, police commissioner Raymond Kelly said today.
We shouldn't be giving the titular head of a terror sponsoring enemy nation with American blood on its hands a visa to enter the country. But what would it say about our country if such a man, an avowed enemy of America, were given the opportunity to visit the site of the worst attack this county has ever suffered and gloat?

(Via The Corner)

UPDATE: A spokesman for Police Commissioner Ray Kelly claims Ahmadinejad's request was received and denied weeks ago. If this is true, what's with Kelly's remarks today? That this request wasn't made public and summarily rejected is appalling.

UPDATE II: Via Michelle Malkin, Ahmadinejad may yet visit the site. CNN has this reaction from the State Department:
"It is appalling that President Ahmadinejad, one of the world's leading sponsors of terror, would find it appropriate to visit this hallowed ground," State Department spokesman Tom Casey said.
The State Department has this one the wrong way around. What's truly appalling is that they gave Ahmadinejad the opportunity to come here and gloat.

 

Chicago Going to Eleven?!!!

From ABC7 Chicago

One Cook County commissioner (Joan Patricia Murphy) wants to increase the county's portion of the sales tax, and if approved, the sales tax in Cook County would go up to 11 percent....

"If they support some other revenue increase, then, that could help fill the gap. But maybe we still would need a sales tax, but as stated maybe not two percent, maybe 2.5 percent. We need to make sure we keep the system going," said County Board President Todd Stroger.

Emphasis mine. This system is bad and benefits those in power who think raising taxes is better than cutting spending. Cutting spending would reduce their power. Raising taxes keeps the system going and thus keeps their power.

 

The DREAM Act

Its a nightmare -- a recurring nightmare

The Washington Times gets it right:
Titled the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, it was included in the immigration "compromise" that died in the Senate in June. It benefits illegals who entered this country before age 16. The bill should be shouted down.

"The illegal alien who applies for this amnesty is immediately rewarded with 'conditional' lawful permanent resident (green card) status, which can be converted to a non-conditional green card in short order," Kris Kobach, a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, noted in a Heritage Foundation paper. "The alien can then use his newly acquired status to seek green cards for his parents who brought him in illegally in the first place. In this way, it is a backdoor amnesty for the millions of illegal aliens who brought their children to the United States."
This absolutely is a backdoor amnesty, as Mickey Kause notes:
Kris Kobach persuasively argues that, thanks to loose drafting, it's potentially a huge de facto legalization program of the sort many observers thought had been defeated. For example [emphasis added]:
There is no upper age limit. Any illegal alien can walk into a U.S. Customs and Immigration Ser­vices office and declare that he is eligible. For example, a 45 year old can claim that he illegally entered the United States 30 years ago at the age of 15. There is no requirement that the alien prove that he entered the United States at the claimed time by providing particular documents. The DREAM Act's Section 4(a) merely requires him to "demonstrate" that he is eligible—which in practice could mean simply making a sworn statement to that effect.
There's more--e.g., once you file an "application," you can't be deported.
Per Rasmussen Reports, 56% of American adults favor an enforcement-only approach to immigration reform. I'd bet less than a quarter of the American public would support Durbin's sham of a bill. But the elites in business, the government, the media and the academe overwhelming favor amnesty, President Bush included. So I expect that sooner or later an amnesty of one kind or another will be shoved down our throats.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

 

Is Rupert about to crush the NYT?

Oh sweet, delicious schadenfreude. We can only look on and smirk.

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Did the Fed just save the market?

The short answer is that it might have. The unwinding of the asset bubbles in stocks and housing really depend on the collective psychology of all the debtors and creditors. If the Fed's 40 basis point cut in the Fed Funds rate was the tonic that the market needed to stem the tide of panic then perhaps the Bernanke Fed has pulled off another save just like his predecessor. It is just too early to tell but I am not ruling it out. I've been burned enough by false breakouts which were quickly retraced and this might be the same.

Of course each bailout has brought more leverage and higher indebtedness. At some point the Fed is going to run into the same situation as the Bank of Japan. You can cut rates but that won't make anyone want to buy assets that they believe will decline in value in the near future. So keep this is mind about this rate cut: they are trying to instill confidence in our financial system which will keep people from panic selling. The rate cut actual means very little. 0.5% is not much of an incentive to buy a bundle of sub-prime mortgages.

Something else to consider. The Fed has an inflation problem which they are choosing to ignore for the moment but the markets won't. From now on the price of oil, gold, and all other commodities as well as the consumer price index will be very important because any sign of inflation will hit long term interest rates very hard. Also, the dollar has been falling. (It's at 1.40 to the Euro, right now.) Lower interest rates do not make your currency more attractive. So Ben Bernanke has a much tougher enviroment than Easy Al. A lot of plates to keep spinning in the air.

With all of these potential problems, including the slow rolling disaster in the housing market, there is much for the American investor/consumer to ignore. I am just not ready to pronounce us more afraid than not. Perhaps if we stay under 14k.

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Connecting today to the 1700's

Just a game of time.

Tomoji Tanabe is now 112 years old. He is old enough to have met John L. Shirley who was born in 1799.

I would not want to be 112 years old today but it would be cool to say you knew someone from the 1700's. And I don't mean like Ronald Reagan did though that was pretty cool too.

Monday, September 17, 2007

 

Deny Visa To Ahmadinejad

The Iranian news agency Fars reports that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will address the UN next week. In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Mitt Romney writes:
If President Ahmadinejad sets foot in the United States, he should be handed an indictment under the Genocide Convention. This approach has been called for by experts as diverse as Nobel Prize Winner Elie Wiesel, human rights advocate and former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton and law professor Alan Dershowitz.
Nice to see. I don't know if any other presidential candidate has made public their own reaction to Ahmadinejad's planned visit, but my hope is that each of them will be forced to address the issue. My own position on the matter hasn't changed:
We are at war. We are not obligated to admit anyone, especially the titular head of a terror sponsoring enemy nation with American blood on its hands, into our country. It shouldn't even be an issue; that it is speaks volumes about the UN and its presence in NY. Deny him a visa and use the occasion to publicize our explanation. And make it clear that American policy from now on will be to deny a visa to anyone like him.
(Links via Drudge Report and Hugh Hewitt.)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

 

An Observation About The Bears-Chiefs Game

Difficult as it is to believe, the first quarter of the Bears game had no stoppages of play related to TV commercials. I wonder how long it has been since something like this last happened during an NFL game.

Friday, September 14, 2007

 

Fighting the War

Victor Davis Hanson details Why It’s So Hard to Win

It is often said that had the weeks in the hedgerows after D-Day (June to late July 1944) or the Battle of the Bulge (December 1944 to January 1945) been televised each hour on CNN or Fox — with real-time email and cell phone communications with beleaguered soldiers in the field — we would never have won either battle.


Michelle Malkin has an example: General Eisenhower or General Lies and Power based on the General Petraeus/Betray Us ad.

Perhaps the Democrats, MoveOn and the NYTimes have finally gone too far and will pay the price.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

 

The September 11 Attack Wasn't Criminal

Is war only criminal when Americans wage it?

I watched the beginning of 'Ground Zero Search & Recovery' on the History Channel. The opening voice over claimed something to the effect that 'ground zero' was the largest crime scene in American history. The term 'crime scene' was used repeatedly. I'm outraged, and unsure I'll continue watching.

Monday, September 10, 2007

 

Bin Laden uses the far left's talking points

(Via Hot Air.)

And despite this brazen attack on the people, the leaders of the West - especially Bush, Blair, Sarkozy, and Brown - still talk about freedom and human rights with a flagrant disregard for the intellects of human beings. So is there a form of terrorism stronger, clearer and more dangerous than this? This is why I tell you: as you liberated yourselves before from the slavery of monks, kings, and feudalism, you should liberate yourselves from the deception, shackles and attrition of the capitalist system.

If you were to poner it well, you would find this in the end, it is a system harsher and fiercer than your systems in the Middle Ages. The capitalist system seeks to turn the entire world into a fiefdom of the major corporations under the label of "globalization" in order to protect democracy.

And Iraq and Afghanistan and their tragedies: and the reeling of many of you under the burden of interest-related debts, insane taxes and real estate mortgages: global warming and its woes; and the abject poverty and tragic hunger in Africa: all of this is but one side of the grim face of this global system.

Except for the part about taxes I can easily imagine these words coming out of Chomsky's mouth. So am I wrong to point out that UBL is using the language of anti-capitalism/globalism? Isn't it obvious that they both share a common enemy - free market capitalism and Western democracy?

There is nothing wrong with sharing a common viewpoint with UBL. But let's not pretend that he is deliberately making this connection. His purposes are unknown but I doubt UBL is praising without considering who in the West would most likely be willing to ally themselves with al Qaeda in the cause of removing Western military presence from Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

 

A Modern Day Cartoon


 

Megatech Hydro-Fly

Bill, I think this is what you and John were talking about this weekend. (Via Gizmodo)

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Ouch

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Friday, September 07, 2007

 

Greenspan's lying, again

When I read this I would have blown whatever I was drinking through my nose if I had been in fact drinking something. The chutzpah of Alan Greenspan is breathtaking.

Bubbles can't be defused through incremental adjustments in interest rates, he suggested, the paper reported. The Fed doubled interest rates in 1994-95, and "stopped the nascent stock-market boom," but when stopped, stocks took off again. "We tried to do it again in 1997," when the Fed raised rates a quarter of a percentage point, and "the same phenomenon occurred."


Whaaa..??? Doesn't he remember when he said the words irrational exuberance in December 1996. I remember it very well as I was trading night hours and his comments hit the after hours market hard enough that the S&P 500 futures were limit down for most of the night. But what Greenspan did after that was most telling. He never said those words again instead embracing the bubble attributing the stock markets gains to improvements in productivity. He never used his most powerful weapon as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, the bully pulpit.

To say now that he was concerned about the bubble considering how fast he backed off the irrational exuberance speech is laughable.

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Hope Is Not a Strategy

Every week I get a newsletter from John Mauldin in which he or one of his guests comment on the markets and I have found everyone of them insightful but this weeks letter takes the cake. It is a clearly reasoned treatise on future expectations and a wonderful idea in fund investing called fundamental indexing (FI). FI combines the consistency of index fund investing with the additional power of adjusting the index based on some fundamental measure of value; i.e. dividends or earnings.

Traditional indexing just holds onto the names in the index which gives an investor the same returns as the index. One problem with this is that hot names are the stocks that get added to the index and they only get dropped when they aren't hot any more. Why not sell off some of the hotter issues and buy some of the weaker to balance against this? That is what a FI fund will do.

I found this article so useful I am not going to quote it because I want you to read it for yourselves.

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The next leg down

The chart is pretty self explanatory. I might be wrong about the B wave ending now but if I am it should not move too much higher, unless my count is wrong.

The significance is that we should move to test the 12,513 low, at minimum. This is wave C which means it should be pretty quick and fairly easy to count as C waves are usually 5 wave patterns.

After the market starts to fall I will try and stay on top of things so that you will know resistance levels above the market which will signal that the current downtrend is over. Right now only trading above 14,000 would be a clear sign the bull is alive and well.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

 

The Ghost of Scandals past

I have thought that Hillary would have a hard time overcoming the rotten taste she and her husband have left in the mouth's of America. How can she overcome her connection to the many scandals of the Clinton years? I don't think it is possible.

Earlier this year I wrote about the unspoken discomfort with Hillary and the inevitable---and quite necessary---reliving of all the partisan and personal battles that swirled around her and Bill in the '90's. It's really starting to manifest itself.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

 

Hsu on the run

He's Hsu on the run.
And Barack and Hillary hope,
We'll search forever more
For Hsu on the run.

Well, the Democrat bundler skipped town
Leaving $2 million in bail.
And Chinese influence on our elections via
The Democrats happens without fail.

So Hsu's on the run,
Johnny Chung's time is done,
Charlie Trie did return,
James Riady gone for good.

Lyrics courtesy of Wings.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

 

Mark to make-believe

Funny accounting rules have allowed financial firms to hide mortgage related problems.

Then there's Level 3. Under Statement 157, this means fair value is measured using ``unobservable inputs.'' While companies can't actually see the changes in the fair values of their assets and liabilities, they're allowed to book them through earnings anyway, based on their own subjective assumptions. Call this mark-to-make-believe.


Who thinks that this is a good idea? The whole point of marking assets to market is to force firms to be honest about their liabilities. This is why Bush's No Bad Investment Left Behind plan is not going to help. The problems can't be confronted if they can be ignored. Not just homeowners but bankers are going to fight hard not to have to face reality. In fact, I am sure that they will not admit their problems until it is too late to prevent the blow up. It's human nature.

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

 

To Women: What Men think about

And it isn't just me because I have had this conversation with different guy friends.

What is the next step in super-awesome TV technology. So far, I have lead Diego to the beloved Westy and I can't complain and I don't think he would, either. But I am looking to the future, children will do that to you, and I am wondering what is the next step in TV tech. The truth is that the future of displays is wide open with no clear technology coming which will dominate. As of this moment we have plasma and LCD battling each with their own advantages. As a non-homeowner, plasma is too delicate so I have caste my dollars with LCD. Not that this choice of standard locks me into purchasing anything in the future like choosing blu-ray over hd-dvd would. Still, there is a certain amount of manly pride which goes with selecting a product which shows staying power.

Recently I have discovered a friend and poker buddy who has a Epson Powerlite. I'm I jealous? Of course I am. Am I going to go nuts and pay huge sums to out tech him? No. I have a kid. Yeah, I have thought about this but it is my hobby to look for the best tech stuff and lust after it. But I ain't as rich as I used to be. Besides, TV tech is changing so rapidly that it is possible to buy something which will be out of style so much faster than it used to be. Which is why you should read this link. A new type of TV which will dwarf them all due out in 2010. Is it LCD? LED? I'm guessing OLED. Anyway, can you imagine a TV that is 2.8 meters in length? Can you Chris? Look upon my display and despair all you might!

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Wretchard's Comment

This is Wretchrd's comment I mentioned last night:
I think people are creeping out of cover now. Ditching the ghillie suit. The time for camo is ended. The usefulness of protective coloration is over. Everything that is crawling out of the woodwork is standing up and firing from the hip. The discussion on both sides of the culture wars is getting openly hostile.

What risks getting shredded is civil society. The carefully crafted ground rules under which things have prospered for so long. How will it end? Damned if I know.
I'm afraid he's right.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

 

How much time should Michael Vick serve?

The answer.

Winkler, who was convicted of voluntary manslaughter, served only 60 days in a mental health institution plus the time she served during her five months in the county lockup. Vick, on the other hand, is facing up to five years in prison if convicted on the charge of conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor a dog in an animal-fighting venture.


Well no. The answer should be Mary Winkler should have served a lot more than 60 days. I wonder if the feminists will protest this inequity? Vick, AKA Ron Mexico, is a a-hole who should do some time and then, maybe, be allowed to play again. Save the knee jerk defense for someone who deserves it.

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