Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Goodbye, Saturn

From Zero Hedge,
General Motors announced today that it's pulling the plug on Saturn, amid an agreement with PAG falling-through. Concerns of a supply and a production agreement after the initial contract runs out with General Motors sent even (Roger Penske's Penske Auto Group) running the other way.
I remember the Houston Auto Show in 1992. Saturn was competitive with Japan, or at least more competitive than the other GM brands. People liked the no-haggle buying process. Dealing with oily car salesmen really sucks. There were a lot of Saturn's on the road during the 1990s... then GM let the brand die.

Saturn wasn't for me, but the people I know who owned a Saturn said they were reliable, albeit boring cars. Saturn owners were loyal. Saturn was our Toyota Corolla, a car that could have been for the masses. Built right here in the US in central Tennessee.

I wonder what happened, but I am just a guy in Houston who isn't a smart, highly-paid GM exec and I don't understand the auto market like they do.

Feelin' Gloomy


I keep hearing about these green shoots, but I don't see any. My biz certainly isn't seeing those shoots. I read that disability claims have risen 20% the past year and I have a hard time believing that many people have suddenly become disabled. Sounds to me like there are a whole lot of people who can't find a job and are desperate to get some money flowing in. With all of the Wall Street shenanigans and bailouts from Washington I can't criticize those moderate and low-income Americans who want to cheat the system. My moral compass is still working fine but for our leaders (both political and business) their compass has been broken.

If I didn't have children I wouldn't be stressed. Those of you with young kids know what I am talking about. The responsibility for our children raises the stress to an entirely different level. For us, failure is not an option. Even though I have prepared for this as best I can (and if you're a regular visitor to my blog you likely have as well), I still fret that IT IS NOT ENOUGH.

Perhaps I am a chicken little. My car is 10 years old and I want (not need) a new one. I still don't have a 42" HDTV. Maybe it's time to quit being a cheap crank who obsesses about financial bubbles and enjoy life. Spend a little. Maybe spend a lot... and put it on my credit card. My house is almost paid off and that's money just sitting there, waiting to be liberated.

I have been thinking about retirement in a couple of decades. I have no way of knowing where I'll be relationship-wise and what kind of financial shape I'll be in. I find myself pondering this and more often than not it appeals to me. I want to go the mobile route by choice, although I think that many of us will be forced to go the immobile route, with a trailer parked in one spot permanently. How far can a retiree with no savings stretch $1500/mo?

Canada in the summer, south Texas in the winter. Not tied down to a house or condo, free to leave anytime and travel anywhere within North America. Yes, that would be fine.

They have jumped the shark


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Pain in Spain

Ambrose says Spain is tipping into economic depression. Spain is the Florida Treasure Coast x10, a bubble of massive proportions built with OPM, primarily Germans, French and Brits. So what's the big news from Spain right now? Zapatero's slouching "goth" daughters.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sonseed

I've never heard of this band. "Jesus Is My Friend" by Sonseed was rediscovered last year and is hugely popular, spawning remake after remake. For those of you who say Christians don't have a sense of humor, you're wrong.


I am not making this up:
(Sonseed drummer) Nicky Sciarra became district manager of Community Board 7 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. He died in 1993 after apparently choking on a sandwich.

Microsoft's Windows Ads: Still Really Bad

Over at Amazon, Todd Bishop says that Microsoft has finally put together some winning ads.



If you look closely (around the 19 second mark) the college-bound kids are taking photos with disposable film cameras. Not sure what that has to do with Windows Movie Maker. Is there anyone under 20 who still uses a film camera?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs: The Dan Rather of the Blogosphere?

He continues to dig that hole deeper. More to follow...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Texas License Plate

The state rolled out the new plates very quickly. Maybe they're more noticeable due to all of the new "cash for clunkers" cars on the roads.
All states do this now. License plates are selling tools, you see. If you drive to Louisiana, locals will want to visit Texas because of what they saw on your plate. Image, baby.

I hate it. Texas should do something unique and go back to the plates of yesterday.

I see crazy people


Even crazier are the comments.

New homeopathic breakthrough!

This oozed through my spam filter:
Ten bucks for a small bottle of water with a special label relieves painful wallet pressure. Flashback from 10 years ago:
What's the homeopathic cure for a bullet wound? Take a bullet and grind it down. Add the "bullet dust" to purified water. Then dilute the solution. Dilute it some more. Keep diluting! Dilute until there are less than 10 molecules of "bullet" per cc of water. Then pour it into the wound. Yes, that should do it.
More here at JREF.

Moron the Fairness Doctrine

Control of the public airwaves is overrated. Control of the Internet and cable television is a different matter.

Let me ask, do you get most of your information from the radio and broadcast TV or from the Internet and cable? Thought so. The Fairness Doctrine addresses yesterday's media and the politicians know this.

When we start hearing calls for regulating cable news outlets and websites that cover politics, that's when we should be concerned. Are we there yet?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Texas, eel, beer, a 9 mm and screaming like a girl

The four needed to work up a plan of action, so they drank beer while considering a strategy.

My friend Brad sent this to me. Hey Sharky, have you ever seen one of these while working offshore? I think if I woke up with one of these thrashing on my bed I'd do a whole lot more than scream like a girl.

The Sea Breeze News is here. Bullshit story? Click Current Issue and then page 01C. You decide.

And speaking of San Leon, I wonder how Stacey and Ryan made out during Ike. My guess is the house they built is gone, but I could be wrong.

China does Japan

The Chinese are feeling their oats.
Business and city leaders on Thursday hosted a delegation of two dozen Chinese developers and investors who are touring several U.S. cities to learn about investing in U.S. commercial real estate.

The group arrived in California on Sept. 10 and has visited San Francisco, Los Angeles and Dallas, and is headed to Houston and New York after Austin.
It's common knowledge that China will soon rule the world. We'd be foolish to turn down the cash from our new masters. (1)(2)

Monday, September 21, 2009

San Francisco: $30 Billion Option ARM Time Bomb

CR is reporting on the impending option ARM nuclear bomb that is set to explode over California.
Option ARMs were used as affordability products in mid-to-high priced areas of bubble states like California. Now most of the borrowers are significantly underwater, and this will lead to more foreclosures, and falling prices, in the mid-to-high end areas.
I said months ago that this is not going to happen because many have already defaulted. From the article,
"The average option ARM borrower is significantly underwater, so much that they don't think they'll get out," Sirotic said. On average nationwide, option ARM borrowers ... owe is 126 percent of their home's value, based on depreciation and not including the effects of negative amortization, Sirotic said.
So why would they still pay? A moral obligation? That was tossed out the window a year ago.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

California must go bankrupt

Dvorak nails it.
Government work should be a refuge, not a gold mine.

California is being broken by its own government, state and local. You can see it when you live in other states.
Do it sooner rather than later.

ACORN

The right has adopted the tactics used by the left over the past 8 years and is bringing ACORN to its knees. I don't believe for a minute that this is being done by a guy fresh out of college and a 20-year-old woman. There is a lot of money and organization behind it. The right has found their Soros. I am glad ACORN is cracking.

With that said, the poor need advocates. There are millions of them and their issues tend to get buried. It's unfortunate for them that their most visible advocate is corrupt through-and-through.

Update:

Based upon some of the comments, let me explain further. What ACORN does is teach people how to game the system. What people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton do is shake down businesses in order to fatten their own wallets. What government does is hand out the freebies and perpetuate the cycle of poverty. Then to keep order amongst the young males they continue to pass byzantine laws that keep far too many Americans locked behind iron bars. The "advocates" of the poor are anything but. It's all been an epic failure. We have almost 50 years of experience to prove this.

In the aftermath of Katrina I said that President Bush had a golden opportunity to break this cycle in New Orleans. I said right here that the Feds should enact a WPA-style program to rebuild the city, instead of paying handouts for years so that people could continue living off the public dole elsewhere. But Bush didn't. What happened was the Feds paid billions to contractors who then went out and hired an army of 20,000 hard-working Mexican dudes, who, by the way, received pretty good pay.

Poor people need job skills. They need to learn how to fish. Poor Mexicans know how to fish, poor Americans don't need to learn how to fish because someone is there for them to provide a mediocre (but just enough) existence.

There's a lot of stuff that needs to be done in this country. I think overhauling AmericCorps (nuking the fraud and politics and instead teach job skills) and expanding recruitment in poor areas is a good idea and would go a long way to show these people how to fish.

Friday, September 18, 2009

It takes a tough man to make a chicken tender

The best part is the expression of the co-talking head.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fine British Dining revisited

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Michael finds this story about food served to NHS patients. The top right corner of the bingo square... what IS that? I can identify rice, but that stuff on top of it looks like something found in my kids' diapers way back when.

And on an unrelated (but UK) note, I wonder if this tactic for moving autos would work in the US. This is the best car leasing website I've ever seen. (Edited because it sounded kinda spammy. The URL is lingscars dot com.)

"(W)e NEED a New Depression"

Yet another sign that the Housing Bubble Blog has jumped the shark: Guest blogger ahansen says we need to have another 30's-style economic depression.
Most obviously, we’ll reduce our footprint on the planet. I’m Malthusian enough to know that with increasing poverty and its inevitable disease and famine, comes die-off. Personally, I think it’s about time. There are too accursed many of us, and those of us there are, are soft and redundant.
You first, honey.

It's easy for wealthy people like ahansen to say this because they'll make out great in a depression. Meanwhile, for the 95% of us who aren't loaded it will wind up killing a lot of people and bankrupting the rest. Culling the heard and buying up assets cheap seems to be the goal.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Got plywood?

The amazing thing to me about Boston's John Hancock Tower is that 34 years after it was built the new owners had a $1.3 billion mortgage on it.
But that's exactly what happened at the 62-story building, now under its fourth owner in six years. In January, an aggressive young wheeler-dealer defaulted on a portion of the building's $1.3 billion mortgage just 24 months after buying it. In March, two firms that had purchased chunks of the tower's second mortgage for pennies on the dollar assumed control, essentially rendering up to $400 million of debt worthless. The Hancock's market value is now about $700 million—half what it appraised for less than two years ago.
It's undeniably a beautiful building and unlike other modern architectural highlights in Boston it blends in quite nicely with this historic downtown. But the lenders need to have their heads examined.

War on the US border

Texas governor Rick Perry made a big splash last week by announcing that he's sending more Texas Rangers to the border. It seemed to me that it was a political move, but after further consideration I think it's not only warranted, the Feds have abdicated their responsibility. I can't source this, but I heard on the radio the other day that there were over 100 murders in Juárez during the first week of September alone. And now it's spreading over into El Paso.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bubbles

A reader tipped me off to this. Danke! I missed the Life insurance securitization bubble.

I haven't paid too much attention to Dubai over the past year or two since there is so much misery right at home, but sure enough it has finally clicked with many people that Dubai is the granddaddy of real estate bubbles. The Irish Times calls it "Man's last great folly." I think that's fitting. China has lots of mini-Dubai's, but the sheer concentration of idiotness in Dubai makes it the default Ground Zero.

Delta's "ghost flights"

Delta's flying empty planes to London for sterilization because they can't get it done in the US.
Delta Air Lines has admitted running "ghost" flights from the US to Heathrow to meet Australian quarantine regulations.

A Delta spokeswoman said: "Materials used for this process are approved and available for use in the United States; however, according to US regulations, these treatments must be carried out at designated AQIS locations outside the United States."
Delta will be stopping this practice and have the work performed in China instead of the UK.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The F-Bomb

I took my girlfriend to a Nickelback concert last night. Their music is a little (OK, a lot) too polished and formulaic for me, but she wanted to see them and I have to admit it was a pretty good show. The sound system was fantastic. The rain held off, and as always it was a breezy humid sauna up at the Woodlands. An overall nice night for sitting on the lawn.

There is one thing. I assume it's because I am TOO OLD AND I DON'T GET IT, but is it really necessary to drop the F-Bomb every third word? "Mother***ing Houston, thanks for ***ing coming out to see us mother**ing Canadian **cks, how are you ***ers doing on this hot ***ing evening? Are you ***ers ready to ***ing rock?"

(old man mode) I saw some pretty hardcore bands in back the day. Certainly a lot more "hardcore" than a pretty boy band like Nickelback. The bands I listened to tossed out lots of F-Bombs, but nothing on this level. The bands I grew up on used the F-Bomb for maximum impact. With Nickelback it got to the point of absurdity. We were LAUGHING about it every time the lead singer did one of his scripted between-the-songs monologues. The F-Bomb has its place, but when it's constantly being used in everyday speech it loses its relevance.

The amazing thing is there were lots of parents with young kids who are fans of the band. There were kids who looked like they were 10 in the front row, with their rich moms who paid the steep price for the tickets. You could see them on the Jumbotron. Mom was there to ogle the lead singer and they dragged along their 5th graders. I'd never in a million years consider taking my kids to such a show until they were at least 15. But hey, that's just ***ing me.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Vaya con Dios, Casey.

It's very late. Had a nice evening with a woman I care about. Get home, and of course I want to see how Casey's birthday party went. I see this.
He looks like a Jewish lesbian in her 50s who's had a series of bad facelifts. My apologies to Jewish lesbians.

It's too much. I quit. I mean it this time. Casey, I hope you get your act together.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

You lie

So this Joe Wilson guy calls Obama a liar. Can't we leave that stuff to us bloggers and the talking heads? There's a certain decorum that we've followed for about 230 years. Yeah, I know, there are Democrats who openly booed President Bush during his addresses to Congress. So why sink to that level?

I don't like it when members of either party do it. We're better than that.

That's funny. I know of a guy who looted more than twice as much and is still walking free.

In fact, this guy I know of is throwing a birthday party for himself this weekend, and everyone's invited. Just bring a covered dish.
STUART - A defiant Rodney McGill prayed for affliction upon his adversaries prior to his sentencing in Martin County Circuit Court, and turned his back on Judge Sherwood Bauer Jr. as he was handed a 20-year prison term for his part in fraudulently obtaining some $1 million in real estate loans.

"Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, for every witness called against me, I pray cancer in their lives, lupus, brain tumor, pancreatic cancer," McGill intoned at his counsel table prior to the start of the hearing Tuesday.

McGill, the self-proclaimed pastor of New Hope Outreach Center in Jensen Beach, and his wife, Shalonda, were convicted in July on nine counts each of obtaining mortgages by false representation, first-degree grand theft and racketeering.

China Eastern Airlines defaults on fuel hedging contracts

And so it begins.
China Eastern Airlines Corporation Ltd. (SHSE: 600115), a state-owned air carrier in the country, has gained support from the regulator behind the state-owned companies to terminate the financial derivative contracts with some foreign investment banks.
This is not a tiny company. China Eastern is a huge airline with a massive fleet, owned by the government.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Electric Light Orchestra

I go through phases and lately I've been obsesso over ELO thanks to my kids. I have an old ELO greatest hits CD that I haven't played in years and that's all they want to listen to. I think it's because there's nothing today that sounds like it. So here's some ELO.

Mr. Blue Sky, the only time you'll see Jeff Lynn without the cheesy sunglasses.


Telephone Line


Do Ya

Lack of proper segue: Apple really screwed the pooch today. They brought Steve Jobs out for this? He did fine, the revamped iPod product line is the major let-down. May as well stick a terabyte drive in an iPod classic. Wow.

The Touch is the future and it's what they need to concentrate on. Those of you with iPhones or iPod Touches know what I am talking about. Handheld mobile computing is what we'll all be doing very soon. Sayonara, PC. It's been great these past 30 years but your time is up.

Eating arugula with Mish

Over on Mish they're discussing cheap food. Comments:
Time is money.. I am not sure I would be willing to spend hours a week in order to save a few bucks.

Furthermore, one should also factor food quality. I highly doubt that the savings generated by eating chicken tacos everyday for free is going to cover the cancer bill.
Cancer from eating chicken tacos? Huh? Did I miss a research study into this?
Where is (sic) the coupons for carrots, organic apples, cucumbers, etc? I see coupons for junk food.

I would rather die than eat that stuff since I know I will die when I eat that stuff.
In the long run we all die. Meanwhile, "organic" food is a waste of money and provides no added health benefits.
Good luck finding coupons for carrots, apples, bulk beans and rice, leafy greens, fresh fish and the other stuff that humans are actually evolved to eat.
Doesn't cost hardly anything to catch some fish to eat, and there's not much of a point in couponing for rice and beans since you can get a huge sack of each for just a couple bucks. Oh, sorry. The cheap rice isn't the Mish reader-approved free-range Basmati rice.
These days Americans are commonly referred to as consumers rather than citizens. We are defined by our voracious consumption of the shoddy manufactured detritus of modern industry. We consume electronic entertainment, we consume manufactured foodstuffs and, when it all makes us sick, we consume industrialized medicine.
Food isn't making us sick, eating too damn much food makes us sick. You get bloated and diabetic eating too much organic sugar foods as you would eating too much processed sugar foods.
What we eat today is for looks, taste and texture. Not for human consumption.
Heh! How gauche for Americans to desire food with attractive looks, taste and texture.
We eat garbage and the more processed, the more it is garbagesized it is. (sic)
Certain arugula-consuming Mish readers are assuming that "natural" diets are healthy. The fact is, human beings have always ingested crap. Natural, "whole organic" crap, contaminated with bacteria and laden with feces, often rotten and packed with fat and salt. The typical diet of our ancestors consisted of bread, potatoes, fatty meat and molasses.

We consume more processed foods because unlike certain Mish readers, many people can't afford a Whole Paycheck diet. Yet here we are, living longer than ever, eating "un-whole" foods that would have sent our ancestors into spasms of ecstasy. Thank you science for enriching our lives!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

One year after Ike

One year ago tomorrow, Ike entered into the conversation. We've had an interesting past 12 months, wouldn't you say? I am looking forward to uninteresting.

Photobucket detritus

Some stuff that's accumulated in my Photobucket account over the years.

No idea, but I bet they were AWESOME.
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Buzz Aldrin doing what needed to be done.
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Seemed funny at the time.
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Me and Sam in Manhattan.
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Kerry's "Dukakis tank" moment.
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Jacque's new career.
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No explanation needed.
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Yeagh!
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Former Airbus CEO Noël Forgeard.
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No explanation needed.
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Young Casey.
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Casey liquor ad.
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Monday, September 7, 2009

Commodore 64 emulator for the iPhone

I wonder about the Zork experience.

Myst is pretty good on the Touch, but Galaga is virtually impossible to play even though it is a perfect replica.

How Barry should sell single-payer medical insurance

By looking at Houston's brand-new medical Taj Mahal's I can see why we have problems with runaway medical costs. Medical care is in a bubble, just like higher education and the (late) housing bubble. They charge what they do because there is an endless stream of other people's money. The medical bubble needs to be popped.

Barry's doing a really lousy job of selling single-payer (i.e., government) medical insurance. It's even more convoluted than Hillary's botched attempt. Hillary's plan was secretive and ginned up without following the laws. Barry's plan is open but so laden with unrelated pork that no one can understand it.

Obama should go back to square one and put together a more simple plan that doesn't contain unrelated pork, present it directly to the American people ("My fellow Americans, we listened to you..."), then take it to Congress. Some quick points:
  • Base it upon the Australian system. The program would entail a 1.5% income tax for everyone with a gross income of $50k or less., 2.5% on incomes greater than $50k. It seems to work for them.
  • Just state the facts. The current system is crazy expensive if you're healthy; If you have a pre-existing condition you're SOL. The system's broken and we all know it.
  • Lots of people are hurting right now. Tell Americans that BarryCare will save jobs because US manufacturers won't have the burden of paying for medical insurance.
  • Tell Americans that it will free up existing jobs by pointing out that many people only work because of the medical insurance benefits. (I know many people in this situation, I am sure you do as well.)
  • Keep the SEIU thugs out of it. They are a big turn-off for most of us.
  • Not a US citizen? No free medical care for you. Pay for it yourself, just like Americans must do when we travel overseas. This one issue angers a lot of people and for some reason the White House doesn't understand why.
  • He needs to reach out to his critics, instead of following Rahm Emanuel's model of dismissing critics with vulgar, mocking terms. Don't run off to some nitwit at Huffington, go onto one of the Fox shows. Grow a pair.
  • Use the bully pulpit to browbeat Congress to keep simple and understandable.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Surrealistic dog and Casey and a woman with a really great smile

This tale gets more weird with each passing day. Island2012: NO DEAL.

Buh-bye

Who's owned by FIRE?

Hmm.

Crazy things people believe about George W. Bush

Will all of the hand-wringing in the press about crazy rightards losing it over Barry, I thought I'd take a trip down memory lane. Have they forgotten about the insane leftard beliefs about Bush from 2001-present? Right off the top of my head:
  • Bush was going to attack Iran if/because they dropped the US Dollar for oil trades.
  • Bush was moving to Bolivia where he owned a secret ranch.
  • Bush orchestrated 9/11.
  • Bush blew up levees in New Orleans during Katrina.
  • Bush stole the election by telling the CEO of Deibold to rig the polling machines.
  • Bush will reinstate the draft (per John Kerry).
Feel free to add your own.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wachovia PDF of doom

This June 2007 presentation from Wachovia has been making the rounds (not-so-big PDF file). The Sword of Damocles was hanging 3 inches above their neck and they were still pushing the "Pick-a-Pay" ticking time bombs. Put on your waders before reading.

Dvorak on Twitter

John C. Dvorak compares Twitter to CB radio.
My thinking is that Twitter could become the CB radio of this generation.
Ahem.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's time for Barry to give Van Jones the heave-ho

Barry pals around with Troofers and gives them cushy high-paying jobs.
Van Jones, the Special Advisor for Green Jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, is Number 46 of the petitioners from the so-called "Truther" movement which suggests that people in the administration of President George W. Bush "may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war."
Fire this dirtbag, Barry. And here's Penn on "pledging to serve our President."

These men have a bright future

Not for the squeamish! I wonder what their career options will be once they hit 40 and they're too old to work the "alt" bars. Working a carnival freakshow is the only thing I can come up with.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lawn haiku

Cinch bugs in my lawn
I have tried to poison them
The bastards must die.

Saturday mowing
my St. Augustine carpet
step in fire ants

I cannot stand it
That nasty Bermuda grass
Bring in the napalm

Digging up my lawn
Every night armadillos
Food source: Hoover hogs?

State-owned oil companies

Getting back to an earlier post, most of the world's proven oil reserves are owned by national governments. More precisely, corrupt governments that are democratic in name only. Do you think that these governments maintain their reserves better than a private company would?

The best analogy I can think of is this: Imagine if the US government was responsible for growing our food crops. Do you think the government would be efficient? Do you think they'd provide accurate reports on how many acres were planted, how many acres are fallow, and how much potential cropland lies unused "in reserves"?

You can see how messed up our farm system is, and that's with a fairly open process (notwithstanding meddling from Congress.) Imagine if the President was unelected, and he hand-picked some uneducated cronies to make decisions on how to best grow our nation's food? This is how the petrothugs run the national oil companies.

What's going to happen next is oil will take another violent dive. The markets are held up by speculation only. This time prices won't rebound. The petrothugs will then call for/beg western companies to revive their fields. Oil will stay down for a very long time.

China = Dubai + Miami + Asian contagion x 10

Hedge fund manager Hugh Hendry explores the empty towers of Guangzhou.

China has a dozen Guangzhou's. If you believe the Chinese Communist Party you are insane.

BP Makes 'Giant' Oil Find in Gulf of Mexico

Bloomberg:
Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) -- BP Plc, Europe’s second-largest oil company, reported a "giant" discovery at the Tiber Prospect in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico that may contain more than 3 billion barrels, sending its shares higher.

The well is located in Keathley Canyon block 102, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) south east of Houston, the London-based company said today in a statement. The Tiber well was drilled to a total depth of approximately 35,055 feet (10,685 meters), greater than the height of Mount Everest.
I think this bit from CNBC is interesting:
The Gulf of Mexico has become increasingly important to Western oil majors as oil rich-countries such as Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Russia increasingly reserve their richest fields to be developed by their state-owned oil companies.
Unlike Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Russia, "big oil" companies must provide open and honest reporting of their reserves. We do not know what reserves the petrothugs have and it is in their interest that there's a perceived shortage. For the petrothugs, peak oilers are useful idiots.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Anti-vaccine cretins

Freshly-hatched anti-vaccine quackery. I'll take on two of their points. Feel free to tear apart the others.
• In Germany, compulsory mass vaccination against diphtheria commenced in 1940 and by 1945 diphtheria cases were up from 40,000 to 250,000. (Don’t Get Stuck, Hannah Allen)
What they don't mention is that Germany in 1945 was in the process of being destroyed by the Allied forces. There was a lack of sanitation, hospitals and clinics had been destroyed, people were living in vile conditions. Vaccination campaigns were not on the minds of the Nazis at this point.
• In 1977, Dr Jonas Salk who developed the first polio vaccine, testified along with other scientists, that mass inoculation against polio was the cause of most polio cases throughout the USA since 1961. (Science 4/4/77 “Abstracts” )
Duh. Polio had been virtually wiped out, and it is known that a tiny percentage of those receiving the vaccine will get sick. So what is worse? Tens of thousands of polio victims each year and a society too terrified to let their children swim, or two (yes, two) cases of vaccine-induced polio over the course of a decade?

These anti-vaccination people disgust me. Why do Hollywierdos pander to cretins who would like to see your child die from a very preventable disease?

Cloud Computing

You may have noticed that Gmail was very sporadic today. Imagine if your spreadsheets for that important business meeting were locked away up in that cloud?