Friday, December 30, 2011


Dum Dum Girls- Bedroom Eyes


Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Does Powerline's Endorsement Matter?

I don't think so. John O had pointed out something to me on Powerline months ago and I said I had stopped reading it. I just didn't find it original anymore. Today I removed Powerline from our blogroll, yeah that's gonna hurt, and replaced them with Dan Riehl's blog. I hope we directed literally ten's of our readership to him. (I hope his servers can handle the traffic.)

Frankly, I doubt few, if any, endorsements matter, let alone from a blog, mine included. But for Powerline to equate "establishment" candidate with "someone who won tough elections and governed successfully" is as nonsensical, as it is insulting to those of us who would prefer a less establishment-aligned candidate. But then, PL is an establishment blog. They seem to be as tone deaf as Mitt's campaign given their phrasing. Furthermore, if they really thought Pawlenty, who turned tail and ran before the corn was ripe in Iowa, was the guy, just how good might be their judgment in selecting a candidate? Given that, not very good if you ask me. Their second choice has been running since 2008 and can't get much beyond 20%. I can only imagine how weak Romney will prove to be in the general. Last night a PPP poll had Ron Paul beating Mitt among Republicans. That's a loser, in my opinion.

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The future is so bright...

...our energy future, that is, if we get a new president. (Via Hot Air.) Our recoverable reserves of oil, natural gas, and coal are so large that we could be energy independent. In fact, we could be a net energy exporter. Oh wait, we are already. It would be nice if it wasn't because of a weak economy, however.

Total Recoverable Resources: 1.79 trillion barrels.
-Enough oil to fuel every passenger car in the United States for 30 years
-Almost twice as much as the combined proved reserves of all OPEC nations
-More than six times the proved reserves of Saudi Arabia

Total Recoverable Resources: 4.244 quadrillion cubic feet.
-Enough natural gas to provide the United States with electricity for 575 years at current
natural gas generation levels
-Enough natural gas to fuel homes heated by natural gas in the United States for 857 years
-More natural gas than the all of next five largest national proved reserves (more than
Russia, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkmenistan)

Total Recoverable Resources: 497 billion short tons.
-Provide enough electricity for approximately 500 years at coal’s current level of
consumption for electricity generation
-More coal than any other country in the world
-More than the combined total of the top five non-North American countries’ reserves.
(Russia, China, Australia, India, and Ukraine)
-Almost three times as much coal as Russia, which has the world’s second largest reserves.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011


How they will attack Romney

Diego adds: I still don't believe Romney will win the nomination, at first I thought it was going to be Pawlenty. I never thought Cain would be a serious contender and don't believe Gingrich will win. My guess is that if Perry does not gain (or regain) support then Huntsman or Santorum will. I don't know that much about Santorum but I think he has done a fine job at the debates.

Update, this is the first I have heard of this alleged bailout of Bain. If there is any truth to this it will really hurt Romney. Also, 7 reasons why Mitt Romney's electability is a myth:

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You know when you come up with a good idea and think about it for a year but do nothing and then someone comes up with something similar but much better idea. Ugh.

Monday, December 26, 2011


Touchpad gets Angry Birds Seasons and Rio

Another indication that WebOS is not dead is the addition of two Angry Birds extensions. Oh great time waster/babysitter!

Friday, December 23, 2011


Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


"We measure morality by what happens, not what is intended."


Sunday, December 18, 2011


What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447

A very interesting dissection of this tragedy and how humans react under stress. Worth your time.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


This slump won’t end until 2031

Wow, someone is more pessimistic than me. Do you remember the good old days of 2005 when I first started blogging about the housing bubble? Now I am getting interested in real estate investing. Of course, I am always early. I just don't think this will last until 2031. 2016? Yes, much beyond that would require this teetering edifice of debt to hold up much longer than I think possible.

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Liberals behind close doors

Dear Prudence,
My brother, a Marine, recently left for his second deployment to Afghanistan. He is in a very dangerous area, and his unit has already lost a high number of members. I live in a politically liberal city, work in a liberal profession, attend a liberal graduate school, and have mostly liberal friends. (And I'm generally a liberal myself.) Only close friends and a few colleagues know that my brother is in Afghanistan. Most people I know oppose the war in Afghanistan and the military. People often say incredibly harsh things about deployed troops. One person implied that it wasn't necessarily a bad thing for soldiers to die and another said that almost all Marines were racist "war criminals" who delighted in killing children. I have to be around these people for school and work. I don't necessarily want to tell them about my brother. It's emotionally distressing to talk about his deployment—especially to unsympathetic people. Is there a graceful way to get them to shut up without having to bare my soul to them?

—A Hurt Sister

Dear Sister,
The ultimate irony is that these people don't have the insight to imagine what it would be like to live in a world in which there was no U.S. military. Let's just say it's unlikely they would be living in a lovely liberal enclave in which they would feel free to express whatever they disliked about the government. The people who are making these repugnant comments surely consider themselves the soul of sophisticated enlightenment, yet they chillingly shrug at the deaths of young Americans willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country, and malign our bravest men and women as baby killers. I understand you don't want to discuss your brother with them. Family members of deployed military have a hard enough job just getting through the day. But reluctant as you may be to engage with them, I think it is worth it for such self-righteous people to be brought up short. You don't have to allude to anything personal. If you were objecting to homophobic or anti-Semitic remarks, it wouldn't have to be because you had a gay brother or you were Jewish.

Maybe you can prepare yourself with some short responses so that you don't let these insults go unchallenged. For example: "Elected officials are the ones who make policy decisions, and the members of our armed forces carry them out. You don't have to agree with the policy to acknowledge the courage of our troops." "I'm sure you don't mean that you actually welcome the deaths of our men and women in uniform." "As with every organization, the military has some bad people. Fortunately, they are few, and those who commit an illegal act are arrested and prosecuted, just like civilians." Think of your remarks as conversation stoppers, not starters, and refuse to get drawn into a debate. If someone goes on to insist our troops are war criminals, reply that you'd prefer such sentiments be kept private. You can also authorize your colleagues to let people know that your brother is a Marine in Afghanistan. It would be good for some of these cosseted, smug blue-staters to realize that living among them are those whose dearest wish is that their beloved Marine comes home safe and sound.

Monday, December 12, 2011


What is a hate crime?

It's a thought crime.

I hate broccoli. If I set up a website encouraging people to boycott farmers who grow broccoli and stores that sell broccoli and I was able to recruit a large following, Broccoli Sux would qualify as a hate group according to SPLC’s definition. The point is, the First Amendment still applies. Nobody is forcing people to participate in “conversion” or “reparative” therapy. Be gay, but don’t label groups who disapprove as ”hate groups” because they disagree with you. [Emphasis added.]

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Now that's a cheap tablet

Makes me wonder if the rush to get a Touchpad was worth it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


WebOS Lives! My Touchpad just became a lot more useful

I am still waiting for this blogs resident engineer to approve the loading of android on the Touchpad but this is good to know. My son just wants to be able to play all versions of Angry Birds.


Thursday, December 08, 2011


The only way out of the depression

The energy industry is the only one with the potential to lift us out of the deflationary depression we are in today.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011


All markets are linked and what that means for you

One of these charts did not make sense to me. I know that stock, bond, and commodity markets are tied together by Federal Reserve policy. That is, the Fed has been providing cheap liquidity and buying bad debt (Quantitative Easing) to keep interest rates low and to keep deflation at bay. It would make sense that stocks, gold, and oil would bottom on the same week, if not day, and that bonds would be topping if the Fed started buying more crap paper. The stock market likes it because the deflation is bad for stocks. The bond market, and commodity markets, don't like it because more dollars out their will be inflationary.

But why does it hurt the dollar? Well inflation would erode the dollar. D'uh. But then the dollar came back which is what puzzled me. But it isn't that puzzling because the dollar's value is against the value of other currencies and right now the dollar looks pretty good versus the euro.

Now that that mystery, in my mind, is solved let's look at the problem of the Fed fighting deflation with QE and easy money. Easy money is a problem when it causes inflation and erodes the value of your currency. That isn't happening thanks to the collapse of the European welfare state. Europe's collapse has bought us some time. How much time? I suspect very little but right now the stock market looks to be as good of a bet as any. At least technically, the fundamental side of the equation, however, is not so sanguine.

For two decades the Federal Reserve has bailed out stock markets, he argues. Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan cut interests rates to near zero percent at the slightest indication of economic decline. And today, Chairman Ben Bernanke has followed the same course, stimulating the market so drastically in 2009 that after stocks crashed they took only three months to recover to a long-term upward trend.

"This pattern is unique," Grantham writes. And now that the Fed's balance sheet is stuffed full with debt, he adds, it may not come to aid during another stock downturn.

"GMO has looked at the 10 biggest bubbles of the pre-2000 era and has calculated that it typically takes 14 years to recover to the old trend," Grantham says. The important point of all this, he writes, is that almost none of today's professional investors have experienced anything like this because the Fed has come to the rescue.

"When one of these old-fashioned but typical declines occurs," he writes, "professional investors, conditioned by our more recent ephemeral bear markets, will have a permanent built-in expectation of an imminent recovery that will not come."

That sets up an environment that Grantham dubs, "No Market for Young Men." Grantham shows how long it may take U.S. stocks to recover if they crashed today.

Go to the link for the scary looking chart. I used to get very nervous reading stuff like this, not so much now. Not that I think his analysis is wrong, it isn't and the tight linkage between stocks, bonds, and commodities is excellent proof that all markets are being wagged by the Fed. What is different for me is that I know that fundamental analysis can take a long time to play out, even if it is right. IOW, markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent. Until the up trend shows a clear break down I will remain nervously bullish.

P.S. In case you haven't figured it out being long gold is being long the stock market.

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Monday, December 05, 2011


Renter Nation

The housing model of the future will be investors buying up existing housing stock and renting the houses or selling them to the occupant and financing the purchase themselves. Given the low returns on other investments of late, this is a lucrative new market for people who have cash.

This has been on my mind for awhile. Buying and renting homes for a long period of time to people who are cash poor. The numbers on this are very attractive if the housing market reaches 2005 levels by 2030.

The good news is that there are incredible loans available. Low, low interest rates and the price for houses is right. You can also save a bundle if you refinance your existing loan to a lower interest rate.

The key is having good credit and cheap financing. With the housing market as a load stone for the next decade the cheap financing is likely to stay longer than many expect.

Update: This is very interesting. Their just might be some real estate opportunities out west.

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