Sunday, May 31, 2009


Are Men The Second Sex Now?

Yes we are. Women have most of the privileges they enjoyed before the women's movement, see how difficult it is for many divorced fathers who want shared custody of their children, plus parity or supremacy in education and the job world.

Fast forward to 2009, and you find that women are now fully half of the American workforce. They earn 57 percent of bachelor's degrees, 59 percent of master's degrees, and half the doctorates. Females have achieved parity with males in law school and medical school and left their male counterparts in the dust in fields like veterinary medicine and psychology. Women serve as presidents of Harvard, MIT, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and many other leading research universities. Today American women are among the healthiest, freest, best-educated women in the world, and they score near the top on international surveys of happiness and life satisfaction.

And in the best indicator of success that I know of, women live on average 6 years longer than men.

So what happens when a few university students decide to form a group to benefit men much like the many groups designed to help women? They are called women haters.

A third-year student from Lake Bluff has formed Men in Power, a student organization that promises to help men get ahead professionally. But the group's emergence has been controversial, with some critics charging that its premise is misogynistic. [Emphasis added]

Huh? So women can organize but men can't? Typical liberal identity politics, the recognized "minority" women must be defended against the repressive men. Men need to organize because there are specific issues which are male specific, like child custody, that affect a large minority of men but potential impact any man who has children. We cannot count on women or the court system to be fair to us because that has not been our experience.


Saturday, May 30, 2009


Literalist Total Eclipse of the Heart

Via Hot Air. Warning, this is very funny.


Friday, May 29, 2009


"You are about to be ruled by the black man, cracker."

Change you can believe in.

Seriously, how hard would it have been to allow these clowns to be prosecuted by the DoJ? Instead the Obama administration just strengthens the case made by the Illinois Nazi party. If Bush can let Scooter Libby twist in the wind for as long as he did the least the Obama Justice Dept. can do is prosecute thugs and then pardon them later.


Had to add this clown attempting to justify the BPP thuggish display at the polls.

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Bond Vigilantes Confront Obama as Housing Falters

For the first time since another Democrat occupied the White House, investors from Beijing to Zurich are challenging a president’s attempts to revive the economy with record deficit spending. Fifteen years after forcing Bill Clinton to abandon his own stimulus plans, the so-called bond vigilantes are punishing Barack Obama for quadrupling the budget shortfall to $1.85 trillion. By driving up yields on U.S. debt, they are also threatening to derail Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s efforts to cut borrowing costs for businesses and consumers.


What bond investors dread is accelerating inflation after the government and Fed agreed to lend, spend or commit $12.8 trillion to thaw frozen credit markets and snap the longest U.S. economic slump since the 1930s. The central bank also pledged to buy as much as $300 billion of Treasuries and $1.25 trillion of bonds backed by home loans. [Emphasis added.]

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Thursday, May 28, 2009


Rising rates reflect Obama/Bernanke stimulus

The ten year treasury closed today yielding 3.54%. Rising rates are a good sign only if they are caused by one thing, an improving economy. Higher rates caused by reckless spending and a too loose money supply is a recipe for disaster. First, we have a huge load of debt to finance and even a slightly higher rate will jack up our payments. This would not be as big a problem if the economy is coming back because of the likelihood that tax revenues would cut the size of the deficit. Stagflation with huge debts is a one way ticket to bananarepublicland, and I'm not talking about overpriced clothes for moderately hip suburbanite.

Given our circumstances I do not see how Obama can do much more of his ambitious agenda without further spooking the bond market. This is the silver lining. In the meantime we should all be doing what the Chinese are doing...not lending the U.S. gov't money for long periods of time.


I wrote this post a couple of days ago and then decided to post it today so it is a little out of date. Ten year rates got up to 3.68% and mortgage rates jumped even more. Marc Faber, the original Dr. Doom, is out with a prediction of Zimbabwean levels of inflation. I think it is a little early to say that and the fact that the market for U.S. treasuries is so huge will put a brake on the gov'ts ability to inflate our way out of deflation. The way this works is that the Fed has been buying up new U.S. treasury bonds, monetizing the huge deficits of the Obama administration. This money enters the economy and that is inflationary. This should stimulate the economy in the short run but eventually the bond markets, private and public, start to anticipate increased inflation and the process becomes a net drag on the economy.

The key is the anticipation of inflation which raises interest rates, borrowing costs, and that will negate the stimulative effect of inflation. The reason this matters in the U.S. more than Zimbabwe is that our economy is more dependent on the availability of credit at relative cheap prices. Without credit flowing our economy has a very serious problem, as we saw this past fall when the whole system was in danger of collapsing because banks would not lend even to the best creditors.

We are walking a tightrope. I don't envy the Obama administration because either deflation or inflation is not a good option. I favor just letting prices fall to wherever they may. The pulling the bandaid off method. Let's get the pain over with rather than do damage to the countries balance sheet in what I believe will be a vain attempt to stop and reverse the necessary process of bringing asset prices inline with incomes.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Suicide Immunity

I have not read much about the possibility raised that President Obama targeted Chrysler dealership closings based on politics. I have no comment on the specifics of that issue. Ace comments here but he is wrong on his general assessment of Obama and politics:

"I just can't buy this -- if true, it's politically suicidal, even with the media on his side covering for him."

There is no action Obama could take now or in the immediate future that would be politically suicidal. It is possible for a series of actions to have that effect over time and some of those actions in such a series may have already been taken by Obama. But the MSM will not cover anything negative about Obama with any seriousness and headlines still drive opinions at least as far as I can tell from my personal experience.

The narrative is positive and that will be the opinion of the electorate.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


GM likely to go bankrupt soon

GM bondholders have rejected a proposed bailout that would have them giving up their preferred position in the case of bankruptcy by accepting equity in Government Motors. Smart move. There is a much better chance for them to get something out of a restructured GM than they would have got by a union dominated car company.

This bankruptcy will be tough on the economy at this point. Still, this is likely priced into the market so I doubt this is going to cause too much of a drop tomorrow. But who knows?

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Thursday, May 21, 2009


World's Greatest Liar

Pinocchio, Snow White, and Superman are out for a stroll in town one day. As they walked, they come across a sign: "Beauty contest for the most beautiful woman in the world."

"I am entering!" said Snow White. After half an hour she comes out and they ask her, "Well, how'd ya do?"

"First Place!" said Snow White.

They continue walking and they see a sign: "Contest for the strongest man in the world."

"I'm entering," says Superman. After half an hour, he returns and they ask him, "How did you make out?"

"First Place," answers Superman. "Did you ever doubt?"

They continue walking when they see a sign: "Contest! Who is the greatest liar in the world?" Pinocchio enters.

After half an hour he returns with tears in his eyes.

"What happened?" they asked.

"Who the hell is this Nancy Pelosi?" asked Pinocchio.



New V Trailer!!!

That's right that V

Allahpundit is calling it an allegory for the Obama administration. After watching the trailer I have to agree.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Terminator Salvation

Potential Spoiler Alert

Not really a chance of spoilers since I haven't seen the movie, yet. I will see it but right now I am just speculating on what's in the movie so I want people to have the option of not getting their own vision of Terminator saga spoiled. Also, I am going to bring up the book Sandworms of Dune which I have read. Ugh. And I will be spoiling that book for someone. (Or perhaps saving them the grief of reading it.)

If you haven't please watch the really long trailer for Terminator Salvation and you will pick up the idea that there is a robotic person in the movie who is offering John Conner, the protagonist, salvation. I assume this is the survival of humanity. Having just finished Sandworms I couldn't help but put the end of that book together with Terminator, and the Matrix trilogy for that matter.

I think the salvation being offered to humanity will be a merger with the machines. Sandworms ended with a sort of peace between humans and thinking machines with the promise that humanity could better itself by coexistence if not merger. Just looking at the Sam Worthington character suggests cybernetics is the answer to their conflict. The Matrix, Terminator, and even the Dune series became about how to reconcile human and artificial intelligence and the conflict over need for one to dominate the other. So far two of the three stories end with at least a truce. We will see what comes but I have a strong suspicion that the Terminator series will end this way and I find that extremely unsatisfying.

Why all this peace making between human's and thinking machines? Is it a result of the misplaced left wing fetishisation of compromise? Do creative types really dream of a future with their heads contained in glass jars for eternity? I don't know but I for one am hoping our future looks a lot more like Star Trek. Machines which are useful but not smart enough to know they are being used and then resent us for it.


Thursday, May 14, 2009


On to Toronto

I'm leaving soon for a road trip to Toronto. I'll catch the White Sox game there on Sunday and history (my 2-9 road record, dome stadium, artificial surface...) suggests that the Sox will lose. I drove there twice before in the early 90's and gave some thought this morning to how much has changed in planning a road trip.

Back in the day one had to do some real research (or save the pre season MLB section of the local paper ) just to get an out of town team's schedule. The National provided a weekly schedule back then but it didn't help in long term planning. Then there are maps, hotels and so much more that has been made simple by modern technology. Google maps and a gps unit have made my road atlas a reference book seldom used on trips, it still helps for planning though.

It will also be interesting to see the changes that have taken place (from what I can remember) since I last was in Toronto. I was also in Montreal in the early 90's and recall reading an artical in the local paper about how Toronto, which had just been awarded an NBA franchise, had surpassed Montreal as the premier Canadian city. In my mind I will try and compare Toronto and Montreal of the early 90's vs Toronto and Montreal now, aside from the fact that the Sox lost in Montreal in '04.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Moment of truth

The stock market is beginning a correction of the rally that began in March. A rally which, I believe, will bring a respite from the bear market that began in 2007. This correction will give us a lot of insight into whether the bear is hibernating or not. Also, if the market manages to stay above the March lows given the flood of horrific news including the likely bankruptcy of GM, defaulting Social Security and Medicare, and downgrading U.S. treasuries then I will be confident enough to say we have turned the corner.

So let's sit back and enjoy the show. Remember, the markets are always right.

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Safety First

Senate backs allowing guns in National Parks: (via Instapundit) "The Senate has approved a measure that would allow people to carry loaded guns in national parks and wildlife refuges."

We set aside vast amounts of territory for wildlife, including bears and mountain lions, to roam free and then encourage people to get out and experience nature and maintain trails to hike deep into these territories. It doesn't make sense to ban guns. I have no desire to shoot an animal but I would hope that if I were ever attacked by one most people would root for me to win.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The 'H' is for Hockey

I thought is was for Habs.

According to Wiki:
The 'H' does not stand for 'Habs' or Habitants; this is a misconception. It actually stands for 'Hockey', as in 'Club de Hockey Canadien', the official name of the team. According to, the first man to refer to the team as "the Habs" was American Tex Rickard, owner of the Madison Square Garden, in 1924. Rickard apparently told a reporter that the "H" on the Canadiens' sweaters was for "Habitants.

According to
In 1916, an "H" for Hockey replaces the letter "A". The change is linked to the purchase of the team by the Canadien Hockey Club, run by Mr George Kennedy. A blue stripe is added above the white, at the bottom part of the jersey as it now truly begins to resemble the Canadiens jersey as we know it.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Hope & Change

Bad and dangerous

So says David Frum:
In barely four months, Barack Obama has nudged the United States toward a future in which government will be bigger and more assertive -- where taxes will be higher and government unions more powerful -- where legal rights are less secure and contracts more uncertain.

In California, he is pushing a state toward the fiscal edge in order to favour a union ally. At Chrysler, he has put at risk the security of every contract in the country to please another union.

Meanwhile, his administration is planning changes to the regulation of finance that are likely to leave the United States less dynamic and less innovative in the years ahead -- at the same time as taxes rise and educational levels decline.
I must quibble with his use of the word "nudged." Consider the Chrysler bankruptcy negotiations. From Business Insider:
Creditors to Chrysler describe negotiations with the company and the Obama administration as “a farce,” saying the administration was bent on forcing their hands using hardball tactics and threats.

Conversations with administration officials left them expecting that they would be politically targeted, two participants in the negotiations said. …

The sources, who represent creditors to Chrysler, say were taken aback by the hardball tactics that the Obama administration employed to cajole them into acquiescing to plans to restructure Chrysler. One person said described the administration as the most shocking “end justifies the means” group they have ever encountered. Another characterized Obama was “the most dangerous smooth talker on the planet- and I knew Kissinger.” Both were voters for Obama in the last election.

One participant in negotiations said that the administration’s tactic was to present what one described as a “madman theory of the presidency” in which the President is someone to be feared because he was willing to do anything to get his way. The person said this threat was taken very seriously by his firm.
A President issuing threats to private citizens who are acting lawfully is change we can believe in. Via Ed Morrissey, who comments:
The story now has more than one source, and mounting testimony — albeit understandably anonymous testimony, at least at this point — that the White House tried threatening senior creditors instead of doing their job in enforcing the law. Not only do they not realize that their responsibilities do not include building business plans for private enterprises, but also don’t include assuming the role of Michael Corleone and acting like organized-crime thugs. Actually, the way the White House made Obama sound, maybe Sonny Corleone is a better analogy … or perhaps Fredo.
If only this were fiction. And keep in mind this Washinton Post chart on Obama's budget deficit, which Obama's own budget director admits is unsustainable:

Monday, May 04, 2009


Cleveland Tourism Video


Friday, May 01, 2009


Upside to Specter's switch: blocking Souter's replacement.

Go over to Hot Air to see the explanation in detail but it comes down to the Senate Judiciary committee needs one minority vote to close debate on a judicial nominee. Before Specter switched that probably would have been him. Without Specter here are the Republicans who are left on the committee:

Orrin Hatch
Chuck Grassley
Jon Kyl
Jeff Sessions
Lindsey Graham
John Cornyn
Tom Coburn.

I don't think even Grahamnesty would be so brazen as to cut a deal with the Dems when it comes to the Supreme Court. Conservatives would issue a fatwa against him if he did.

So the traitor seems to have done us a favor. Thanks.

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