September 2008 Archives

The bailout


The markets are in turmoil.  And the same people who have created this mess are blackmailing you with threats of a Greater Depression to the tune of 700 billion dollars.  Never mind the fact that the fed on its own just pumped in another 630B without any congressional oversight.  

The threat is that if we don't bail out the top tier finance players, they will fail and we will have a recession.  This is a natural part of the business cycle.  This is not something to be feared.  Their failure is a consequence of their willingness to take substantial risks, with leverage multipliers beyond all rational judgment.  New top tier finance players will rise up and take their place.  And for a time they will invest with caution and sound judgment until greed gets to them and the cycle repeats.

The secondary threat is that commercial loans wont be done, companies will not be able to make payroll or purchase inventory, etc.  So, rather than bail out the bankers, use a facility like SBA loan programs but beef them up for larger companies if needed.  The 2nd or 3rd tier banks that survive would be more willing to write the loans as they would be guaranteed.  If they don't have sufficient funds to write the loans, they will raise interest rates to attract deposits.  Thus a commercial loan crisis could be averted with minimal government intervention.

The worst part of this entire boondoggle is that the desire to give so many Americans a chance to own their own home was an illusion.  Affordability is not created by giving them increased credit lines, but rather by increasing their earnings and economic potential.  The debt they are now facing will probably keep many from ever owning a home again.  

A wonderful milestone in space flight

Congratulations to SpaceX.  Elon Musk and company successfully reached orbital speeds with a privately developed and launched rocket.  This is the 4th flight of the Falcon 1 rocket.  The larger Falcon 9 is expected to be launched in 2009 and be able to support manned spaceflight. 

Cyber-defense in the US of A.

In mid-August we were greeted with the news that the USAF "cyber-command" was being shut down.  In typical government fashion, they decided to wait until they were just about ready to go live before reaching a negative conclusion.

"The Air Force is about to suspend its controversial effort to reorganize its forces to "dominate" cyberspace. The provisional, 8,000-man Cyber Command has been ordered to stop all activities, just weeks before it was supposed to be declared operational."

And now we know why.  Rather than give it to .mil, the fat juicy mandate (and funding) will be going to the friendly neighborhood DHS

I know the flyboys have had a few screw-ups lately, but I'd much rather have people in the hot seat who have at least taken the following oath:

"I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

As opposed to a bureaucracy that attempted to install some unknown oath of secrecy in late 2004.  The secrecy oath was struck down quickly but still... who would you rather have running the show?  And how much safer do you feel knowing who will? 

The spectre in the distance

Politics today:  The young black man "safely" chooses an old white man.  The old white man "recklessly" chooses a young white woman.  I put them in quotes because like everything else in politics, things are probably not what they seem.  For example: choice.  Neither is really all that different from each other.  They should have just cut to the chase and had Obama/McCain or McCain/Obama ... the order decided by a coin flip or something.  Sure that might confuse some of their cheerleaders, but really they aren't much different.  A figurehead with a "mandate" ignored by congress whenever politically expedient.  Both will probably order an attack on Iran.  Both will continue efforts to curtail the rights of Americans.  The rest is just theater.  I only wish I could complain to the management and get my money back. 

Gustav, the expected Cat5 Hurricane hit land as a Cat2.  I think the folks at NOAA were just doing a little CYA.  Better to predict a disaster and have it whimper out, than to predict a whimper and get a disaster.  You could lose your job in the latter case.

Meanwhile, it seems everyone is continuing to ignore or at the most, pay lip-service to the pressing issue... the US of A has over-spent at every level: Federal, State, Local, and Individual.  We are about to be in for a world of hurt.  I'm sure many people are already.  So many jobs being lost even now.  The world is changing and we (as a nation) don't even seem to know it.  And even when we do recognize it, we dont seem to be inclined to do anything about it.  The Cassandra's abound, but the Feds seem to keep pulling rosy news out of some questionable and often negatively revised figures.  The future I see coming for us isn't what I want for myself or for my kids.      

First post!

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A web-site reboot.  I'll move content in shortly... I hope.  For now... generic everything!



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