Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Can't Do the Math

Unfortunately, Don Boudreaux is tilting at windmills because the government can say whatever it likes. The Americans who voted for him either don't care about reality or can't do math. Or Both.

To put this budget "cut" in perspective, suppose that the typical American family, earning $50,000 annually, plans this year to run a budget deficit proportionate to the deficit that Uncle Sam will run. Such a family would plan to spend $75,000.

This family would declare - surely with much fanfare - that it will reduce its planned expenditures for the year by $2.08! Perhaps it might promise to survive the year with one less gallon of gasoline or with one less cup of coffee.
It is almost like it was planned this way. Breed an apathetic population that also cannot do math. Hmmmmmm.....

Monday, April 20, 2009

Half the Population will be Serfs

If you cannot understand a weather forecast, then you will be a serf, not a leader:
"only half the population understands what a precipitation forecast means well enough to make a fully informed answer, a new study finds.

If, for example, a forecast calls for a 20 percent chance of rain, many people think it means that it will rain over 20 percent of the area covered by the forecast. Others think it will rain for 20 percent of the time, said Susan Joslyn, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Washington who conducted the study.

Joslyn said that the research, funded by the National Science Foundation and detailed in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, shows the difficulty of making decisions where uncertainty is involved. People find it easier, she said, to simplify the situation to a single outcome: that it will definitely rain, but not for the whole day or the whole area."
So sad. They should not worry about the weather, and instead go back to watching American Idol or the Miss USA Pageant.

My Korean Dream

This story illustrates why I dream of North Korea being freed from tyranny.
"When van Houtryve approached North Koreans, they walked off or averted their eyes. He never once photographed a smile. Even children ran away from him. “They’d turn and notice me and immediately bolt off—as if a wolf had come up to them.” Pyongyang’s somber trams are old East German models, giving the city a Soviet feel two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall."
I traveled to South Korea in the late 1990's, both before and after the Asian currency crisis. Of all the places I've traveled, the Koreans were the most generous and genuine. That their country could be split in two via Socialist / Communist tyranny is a crime against humanity. I dream that before I die, the North can be freed and recombined with the South. As I always say, "if you are going to dream, dream big!"

H/T Carpe Diem

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Yep, Tea Parties are Reasonable

None of us are childish, just reasonable:
"One need not agree with the tea-partiers to concede that these worries are ones that reasonable people can, and do, have."
After all, it is not about partisanship, it is about mathematics. When the math does not work, the peasants tend to get restless.

Photos from Houston Tea Party

I tried to live blog the event, but it just did not work out for me. Some of the pictures did not transmit via the Blackberry and, frankly, the camera phone takes poor pictures anyway. Most are out of focus and long shots just don't work. So, these are pictures from the trusty Pentax:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Crowd shot is tax day.

Could have done without

This Freethinker could have done without the prayer at the party, but if the "Audit the Fed" nuts can pass out signs, the people can pray. I don't have to listen.

Jones Plaza is Full

Tell the Czar

The peasants are restless.

Liberty is all we need

Starting to fill up

The crowd files in

Very peacefully!

Couple of kooks

There is one nirth certificate kook and another who wants to "audit the Fed". Well, one conspiracy theory and a second misguided soul will not ruin this party.

The gathering party

Volunteers muster

There are a lot of people making this happen!

Best T-shirt so far

"My son has autism. What is Congress' excuse?"

News Coverage

There might actually be some press coverage.

Mounted Patrol Arrives

Getting set up at the Tea Party

Root of All Good

Appropriate for today:
Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask
for your own destruction. When money ceases to become the means by which men
deal with one another, then men become the tools of other men. Blood, whips and
guns--or dollars. Take your choice--there is no other.
Ayn Rand, Atlas

Protest Sign

This is one of my protest signs for today's Tea Party in downtown Houston.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


A few words about generosity:
"...your generosity is reflected in what you do with your own money, not in what you do with other people's money. If I give a lot of money to charity, then I am generous. If you give a smaller fraction of your money to charity, then you are less generous. But if you want to tax me in order to give my money to charity, that does not make you generous."

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Banks Find Way to Pass the Losses to Taxpayers

This is what happens when a program designed by stupid people is manipulated by smart people:
"US banks that have received government aid, including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase, are considering buying toxic assets to be sold by rivals under the Treasury’s $1,000bn (£680bn) plan to revive the financial system.

The plans proved controversial, with critics charging that the government’s public-private partnership - which provide generous loans to investors - are intended to help banks sell, rather than acquire, troubled securities and loans.

Critics say that would leave the same amount of toxic assets in the system as before, but with the government [taxpayers - duh] now liable for most of the losses through its provision of non-recourse loans."
I've wondered who is going to take the final loss on all this mess and the mechanism for transferring that loss and now I know. The taxpayers are going to take the loss and here is how. The only thing to wonder is when the next diversionary magic show a-la AIG bonuses will start.

Once the Mob Has You

First, the banks are given an offer they cannot refuse and now, they cannot give it back.:
"Fast forward to today, and that same bank is begging to give the money back. The chairman offers to write a check, now, with interest. He's been sitting on the cash for months and has felt the dead hand of government threatening to run his business and dictate pay scales. He sees the writing on the wall and he wants out. But the Obama team says no, since unlike the smaller banks that gave their TARP money back, this bank is far more prominent. The bank has also been threatened with 'adverse' consequences if its chairman persists. That's politics talking, not economics."
It is all about control.