Saturday, April 30, 2011

Deranged Connecticut politician kills African family in oil dispute

Story at eleven.

We need a dollar default

John Maudlin talks about this.

I'm going door to door

BISMARCK — A proposed constitutional amendment to abolish property taxes in North Dakota has been approved for the ballot.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger said Friday the initiative had enough petition signatures to qualify for the June 2012 primary election. It will be listed as Measure 2.

Supporters of the proposal needed almost 27,000 petition signatures. Jaeger says more than 28,000 valid signatures were turned in.
California should do this.
I think I will carpool with Jerry. He can collect signatures for his tax hikes and union payola and I will collect for abolishing Californian residential property taxes.

Where is the Jarvis Taxpayers association when we need them.

Peter Gordon has thoughts on Bitcoins

Mostly good I think.
Here is another twist to Bitcoins, they exist in your smart phone and are traded in most major currencies. Thus, no matter where I am, I can select a good priced in one currency and purchase the good with another currency. The only requirement is that both parties have access to the web.

Bitcoins thus enable the George Selgin concept of competitive banking.

Buffet is disengenious

Buffett says the U.S. will not “have a debt crisis of any kind as long as we keep issuing our notes in our own currency.” Inflation resulting from a “printing press” approach, however, is a serious threat. Pragmatic Capitalism
He expresses what he knows to be a tautology and passes it off as certain wisdom.

The fatal error is in the thing called, 'Our own currency'. Out in the periphery, we might just have a different currency, that is someone else's. Here is how Zimbabwe handled it:
The use of foreign currencies were legalised in January 2009, causing general consumer prices to stabilise again after years of hyperinflation and price speculation.[50] The move led to a sharp drop in the usage of the Zimbabwean dollar, as hyperinflation rendered even the highest denominations worthless.

People who currently use the old Zimbabwe dollar are not having a debt crisis, but they only trade in wallpaper.

Argentina is a serial defaulter using their own currency. Iceland defaulted. Part of Europe are defaulting, and Europe uses its own currency. The US engaged in gold defaults during the great depression. Two years ago California went through a partial default, issuing laser print money in the place of dollar debt to government contractors. California is likely to do it again.

MMT miss one point, we reach a point in which it takes too many policemen to chase down the alternative currencies.

Rewrite Walras' Law for economics

A market for a particular commodity is in equilibrium if, at the current price of the commodity, the quantity of the commodity demanded by potential buyers equals the quantity supplied by potential sellers. Wiki

The law of equilibrium does not include sellers who purchase their own stuff. Let's include buyers of one's own stuff and rewrite:

Goods into the market equals goods out of the market plus wastage.  Once again dumping the supply/demand thing. We get conservation of goods.  Now we can consider the condition in which sellers take more to market than they sell, bringing the excess back to the shop.  If the queue sizes drop for deliveries at the market then the market will open less frequently and quantities sold will increase.

Economists start to bore again


Friday, April 29, 2011

Grave robbers

The Vatican has brought out Pope John Paul II's coffin in the crypt under St Peter's Basilica ahead of his beatification on Sunday.

It was placed near St Peter's tomb, and will go on display before the main altar during the ceremony, after which it will be re-interred elsewhere.
They have no idea how silly this ceremony looks.

JP Morgan wants a weaker dollar

They may be right. Their economist says:
“An orderly dollar decline in an environment in which the U.S. is in some sense the weakest link, at least in terms of slack and its financial healing, is the right thing to happen here, and in fact I think it’s been happening too slowly,” he said.
We likely will get a weak dollar, but it won't come smoothly.

What did Marx say

In terms of a Shannon channel.

The mutual entropy between the banking channel and the real goods channel drops, the two networks become incoherent.  Capitalists aggregate ownership and collapse the banking channel, but maintain the longer supply chains for real goods. Since gains from scale are not passed down, the queue sizes at final demand become unstable.  Money loses its utility.

Brad wanted to know.

An example is IBM's attempt to own the bulk of the personal computer industry while maintaining their traditional supply lines.  Microsoft ate their lunch by extending the gains to scale up and down the chain.  IBM had  crisis.

The problem in Marx's time and today is information technology which differentially makes financial manipulation happen faster than real goods can keep up. Likedly cause of the panic of 1907? The telephone switchboard.

Whoops on Microsoft

Consumer PC shipments dropped 8 percent in the quarter, Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein said. Netbooks -- the cheap laptops that became popular during the recession -- plunged 40 percent, partially because of defections to tablet computers, he said. The decline overshadowed a better-than- anticipated performance from Microsoft’s Office unit and increased PC demand from corporations. Bloomberg 
Microsoft cannot live on its residual corporate accounts. Most of these are leftovers from the IBM partnership.

Three states on the war path

Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have issued the following press release statement regarding the situation in Syria. Comedy Central
But only if South Carolina can dredge its port.

Now, really, do we want the commissioner port dredging to also be declaring war?

Jerry Brown going door to door

California Governor Jerry Brown said he’s willing to gather signatures for a voter initiative to extend $11 billion in expiring tax increases, blocked by Republican lawmakers, in order to balance the state’s budget.
To pay for his union payola.

Obama still delusional

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the Senate will consider as early as next week Obama’s proposal to repeal the tax breaks. Obama wants to use that $4 billion a year to invest in alternative energy in an effort to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil.
He lives on another planet, yet again swapping one set of energy subsidies for another.

The Senators are a comedy routine

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said today “he is not ‘drawing any lines in the sand’ about what must be included in a deal to raise the debt ceiling except to say it must ‘prove that we’re willing to do something’ about the ever-growing debt,” CNN reports. Senatus
Reid and the Keynesians want to raise the limit so they can both borrow the interest payments and take on more debt. Rather than look foolish and idiotic, Reid should just admit the idiotic part and go with that.

Schumer wants to buy Chinese debt

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says “lawmakers should act on legislation retaliating against Beijing’s alleged currency manipulation,” the AFP reports.Senatus
Go ahead, legislate instructions for Treasury to load up on Chinese municipal bonds.

Max Baucus (D-MT) numbskull

Baucus released a short “blueprint” of the plan – which would expand investment in “clean” fuels and efficient vehicles – the same day that oil giants Exxon and Shell reported big gains in first-quarter profits.

And the outline arrives a day after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he planned to bring a tax break repeal measure to the floor. The White House and Democrats are targeting the subsidies in the wider political debate that has erupted over high gasoline prices. Senatus
Trade one energy subsidy for another. If we have to put up with bullshit like this, then just leave the oil subsidies in place.

It is not the inflation that scares the Fed

What’s going on here? My interpretation is that Mr. Bernanke is allowing himself to be bullied by the inflationistas: the people who keep seeing runaway inflation just around the corner and are undeterred by the fact that they keep on being wrong.Incessant Krugman
QE2 is not over, growth has slowed. Congress cannot grow central government with parabolic growth, the states are in no position to carry central government.What is bothering Ben is the increasing price he pays for the volatility of the Fed's actions, the dependence on Treasury trading that builds up in the big financial institutions, the pending  guarantee costs building up in the TBTFs.
 So much for the Fed’s independence.
The Fed is buying Treasuries, nothing else. That is not independence, that is dependence.

If Krugman wants the Fed to get radical, here is an idea. Sign us all up to a digital account at the Fed. Then bit by bit, put the robots in charge of final delivery, Update the currency technology.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

M1 Velocity

Still dropping.

Real Economists calling a double dip

More than half of Americans say the U.S. economy is in a recession or a depression despite official data that show a moderate recovery, according to a poll released on Thursday. Reuters on a Gallop poll with a HT to Instapundit

New study reveals massive rail and transit subsidies

See Antiplanner
Bottom line? Passenger trains suck.

The Muslim Brothers have a gig

The banned Muslim Brotherhood has called on Syrians to take to the streets to protest against the regime ahead of Friday prayers.Skynews
That certainly makes life difficult for the opthamologist.

The fundamental channel rate of nature

The point of all this is to try to explore some of the weirdness of quantum mechanics, which suggests that space is actually a giant party of random particles that are popping in and out of existence too fast for us to see. The hope is that a laser this powerful might actually be able to tear apart the vacuum of space-time itself, revealing the matter and antimatter underneath.DVICE

There is no vacuum, there is only the fundamental bandwidth of entropy, the fastest rate at which an entropy gradient can dissipate, in my theory. These European researchers want to shine the most powerful energy source on space and see if it quantizes.

Durbin wants an election entitlement

Dick Durbin, the Illinois senator that continually votes Illinois tax money back to DC, accept Social Security cuts as part of deficit reduction; now wants to create an election funding entitlement for politicians.

Something happens when Senators go to DC, they become loony.  I generally don't see these type of contradictions in House members.   Why do we have this type of nonsense?  It is the Senate itself, the fact that half of its members are illegitimate, way over representing small states.  Not Durbin himself, but the Senate with is disparate arrangement of Senators without any similar level of representation.  It makes for much different campaigns, much different job descriptions and the need for specialized roles among Senators. Mal-proportionment among Senators, they are forced into production lines to accommodate the problem.  So contradictions we see when comparing the House and Senate are not observable to individual Senators.  Senators become entangled in their specialized roles, they do not realize they have become nutty. Like John McCain running off to join the Libyan rebels, the behavior is so out of context.

Mike Koczal on Ben

We have seven million people out of work since the crisis (on top of the number of those who would have been out of work without the crisis)... it will take years, 2014 or beyond, before the country approaches a normal unemployment rate.... [T]he Fed is doing neither of its two jobs. Unemployment is too high, and inflation too low, so it should be doing whatever it takes to stimulate the economy The American Prospect

Mike wants whatever it takes for the central bank to change the economy.

The first thing Ben needs is the information about the economy in 2014, Ben needs our future.  Anybody have it?  Mike and Dean at the American Prospect have the future they want, maybe they would prefer Ben just take instructions from them.

Mike and the Progressives have a problem, their future was not elected, the Tea party future was elected.  What the progressives want Ben to do is reverse the election of 2010, they really want Ben to go back to the past. Good luck on the time travel thing.

Yglesias pulls this stunt, demanding that Ben change the world because his side lost the election.  These people are anti-democracy.

Marx came the closest in DeLong's review of theory

DeLong reviews the economic theory, or rather recovers one of his many reviews.
Of course, the modern Shannon theorists get is exactly right, as near as we can tell.

We alternate between general gluts and general shortages because the economy depends upon quantization and quantization always results in a sparse solution set. The economy will accept nearly infinite volatility between state changes as long as the quant levels in production are maintained during the stable periods. We will use even violent means to arrive a a stability in which quants of goods are delivered with minimal redundancy.

Shannon and Huffman and Elliot the natural heirs to Marx.

More home town

Merle haggard, another Bakersfield product. He sings about the local river, the Kern. We used to float the river, some of us still do! Those steep dirt mountains in the background, we took motorcycles up; the jagged rocks in the upper Kern, we dove from them. The steep cliffs? We climbed them vertically.

These musicians are the sons of dust bowl migrants. Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck was accurate, as my parents told me. The Bakersfield Sound, it is called, it is a unique form of country and western.  Here is a site with early photos of the musicians.

Here is Bud Hobbs and the Trail herders with Buck owens on lead guitar, 1953.

An early Bakersfield TC variety show from 53:
'The Cousin Herb Henson Trading Post TV Show' ran on weekday afternoons. It showcased Bakersfield area musicians as well as a wide variety of guest stars, and the broadcast signal was strong enough to reach much of the Central Valley, Fresno, and out to the coast. Check his music.

Bill Wooods was the earliest, and regular at the Blackboard country and western club. Here is his hit:

Here is the typical Dust Bowl story from Arkansas to Bakersfield:
Fuzzy Owen was a pivotal figure in the development of the Bakersfield sound -- while co-owner of the small but influential Tally label, he was the first to record Merle Haggard, later serving as the renowned singer/songwriter's longtime manager. Born Charles Owen in Conway, AR, in April 1929, he headed west to Bakersfield at age 20, picking cotton while moonlighting at the soon to be legendary nightclub the Blackboard, where three nights a week he played steel guitar in a honky tonk band featuring his cousin Lewis Talley.
My family traveled the same route, much later. My mom taught school to many sons and daughters of the cotton pickers.

With 1.8% growth, Jerry Brown has run out of time

Budget Round-Up: Guv Continues to Push Budget Strategy; Tax Vote in the Fall?

Between now and the fall we will need a central banker to help sell John Lockyer's Laser Print Money.

The extreme tornadoes are global warming phenomena

Global warming aggravates the temperature differential between the equator and the arctic.  During seasonal change, the energy difference moves masses of cold air from the arctic and masses of hot air up from the equatorial seas.  The United States is, unfortunately, the battleground between the air masses.

States in this battleground should sue oil users on a public nuisance claim.

Amazon is a low tech warehousing company

Their basic service is to provide warehousing services to match consumer demand in the nation.  They provide little real technology.  Hence the continuing problem of ascribing to Amazon the problem of on line shopping.

Worse, Amazon has no barrier to entry.  Any independent warehouse provides the same service as long as the robots are allowed to manage distribution.  The robots don't care, ultimately, which warehouses are used, they will search out the best inventory locations and use them, Amazon or not.

In fact, I hereby patent that idea.  I will help get a company funded whose sole purpose is to get independent warehouses, truckers, and railroaders  to sign up as service providers.  Then like Groupon, the robots will distribute goods using these member warehouses based on aggregation of on line sales.

Amazon gains from specialization will dry up, they will wither.  I almost feel sorry for them.  Like Netflix beating up on Blockbuster, Amazon exists only due to the stubborn nature of retail outlets.  Once the retail outlets sign up for the patented service, they will eat the Amazon's lunch.

How can this new company aggregate on line sales? Excuse me for a moment, while I write up a browser widget. 

Looking at Karl Smith theorize

Sorting to Stagnation

I like that idea, it deserves more fleshing out. reminds me of Shannon Theory, entropy encoding. Also looks like Krugman Agglomeration Theory.

Credit goes to Obama

I consider this good new, and Obama can take most of the credit.
Federal government spending sank 7.9 per cent, much faster than the 0.3 per cent decline recorded in the fourth quarter and local and state government spending fell 3.3 per cent, compared with a 2.6 per cent drop in the last three months of 2010. The pullback in government spending, particularly at the state and local level, “reflects the ongoing budget problems that will continue to be a drag on the overall economy for some time yet”, Mr Ashworth said...
Parabolic growth is unsustainable, whether Silver or Government.

Military matters

The war on terror is a farce.
Call for radical cuts in US defense.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Obama is black?

I have seen photos of his mom, he is not black. But Whoopi, a bad actress, says Obama is Black I think Whoopi has some thing about Black people.

Carter's megalomania

North Korea will not give up its nuclear program without some kind of security guarantee from the U.S., former President Jimmy Carter said.Bloomberg
What Nuklurea wants of for high muki mukis to come visit and make excuses to the Kim midget to throw temper tantrums. Carter doesn't get this part, it is beyond him.

On line retails sales

They run about 20% of total sales. This is retail. Wholesale purchases vs person-to-person sales are likely very much higher.

Is this digital money?
It uses much of the same encryption and security technologies as Bitcom. It is still denominated in dollars, but many of those wholesale dollars never get converted from retail income, it is digital in and digital out for the middleman.

E Bay sales are all on line, digital. How much of E Bay sales today stay in digital form, staying in digital accounts as more E Bay goods are bought and sold along a path?

Consider the MIT billion prices project. What really does is measure? Inventory levels via digital inventory systems. When a bot measure inventory levels over a network, then makes a purchase; where exactly are the dollar units carried? The dollars cancel, the bot is really adjusting inventory ratios across space and time over a finite network.

When I run my entropy encoder over a price list, denominated in dollars, what am I looking for? Real goods inventory levels, I am canceling out the units called dollars.

My speculation here is that we may be changing currency technology and not really know it yet, the information hidden in the bot search engines.

Wall Street worries about the Socialist Banking Network

A group of the largest US banks and fund managers stepped up the pressure on Congress and the Obama administration to reach a deal to increase the country’s debt limit, saying that even a short default could be devastating for the financial markets and economy.

The warning over the debt limit is the strongest yet to come from Wall Street, highlighting growing nervousness among investors about the US political system’s ability to forge a consensus on fiscal policy.CNBC

These folks are the Cadillac welfare queens of our age. When bankers go boo hooing to the politicians, war often results. The best response is to default now and start the restructuring; otherwise the middle class will pay a much heavier price later.

My Hometown

My dad did dental work for Buck

Nevada whips when California nudges

The population of Clark County, home of Las Vegas, has fallen by about 16,000 from its estimated high of 1.97 million in 2008, according to the government-funded Nevada State Demographer. Almost 15 percent of homes in the county -- 125,000 residences -- were vacant, according to the 2010 Census, following a construction boom in the last decade that peaked with 39,000 housing permits issued in 2005.

Las Vegas home values plunged 58 percent from the 2006 high-water mark through February, the biggest drop of the 20 metropolitan areas tracked by the S&P/Case-Shiller index, and are the lowest since June 1999, the group said today in New York. Prices fell 7.4 percent in March from a year earlier to a median $125,950, the Las Vegas Realtors reported April 8.Bloomberg
Nevada Casino operators want Superbuses, and the timing is very soon.

Homeowners angry with the Fed

I hear two things on the webosphere.  The Fed can't do much, but they have room in inflation for a QE3.  Keynesians say they want the Fed to use inflation to create jobs, but they mainly want inflation.  I think they are homeowners trying to rig the game.
Obama, like previous presidents in times of high oil prices, is taking a hit. Only 39 percent of those who call gas prices a “serious financial hardship” approve of the way he is doing his job, and 33 percent of them say he’s doing a good job on the economy.WA Post
Obama is dealing with money delusion; folks blame the price but the problem is energy efficiency.

Bitcoins at an all time high relative to dollar

Trading slim, about a few hundred grand, Bitcoins trading 1.8-1.9 to the dollar.

Why Bitcoins will succeed?

Robots need them, simply put.  The job of our internet packets  is run time allocation of resources in a distributed network.  Digital money is the only medium of exchange accepted in electronic transfer, the actually digital pulses that travel the network.  Regulators cannot shut down the system and force the use of paper or coinage.  Regulators today, especially in California, use digital exchanges to track down and collect late taxes,.  They have viruses that search back accounts, they deliver monetary seizures electronically. Tax collectors and regulators use digital money for the same reason humans to, they can leverage the speed and brains of robots.

Gresham's law, the law that says we adopt a uniform monetary standard in this case, the standard has to be digital money.  The advantage of Bitcoins is that they are here today and they work.

Does the government have Seigniorage in digital money?

Sure does, but with one exception.  The effect of the Seigniorage is computed in run time in the distributed digital money network, hence it has less value.

Can investors find arbitrage opportunities with digital money?

They sure can, but the arbitrage opportunities are computed when investors discover real changes in human needs and wants, something the robots cannot do. The robot traders themselves always watch for price peaks, jumps in precision and they cover these. Hence, we always get the best allocation, based on what humans want, not what they neglect in their portfolios.

What about gold as a medium of exchange?
Doesn't work in the electronic world.

What is the killer app for Bitcoins?
I am pretty sure it will be allocation of transportation resources, the movement of inventory across public roads by automated and semi-automated bots.

Time for Trump to show his bankruptcy records

The Comb Over is a serial bankrupter, probably just what we need in DC, but he should prove that he can effectively bankrupt Congress.

Dave Leonhardt, the Fed is not an energy company

One question more than any than other is crying out for an answer: Why has Mr. Bernanke decided to accept widespread unemployment for years on end, even though he believes he has the power to reduce it? NYT
The answer is that economists usually get it wrong. But,still, being an accurate economist at the Fed still does not produce energy.

Shippers adjust to energy shortages

With diesel prices near their highest levels since 2008, the impact has started to appear in the first-quarter results of companies like Union Pacific railroad and the Arkansas Best Corporation, which has a trucking subsidiary. Some shippers said they expected to raise fuel surcharges. NYT
The shortages have a differential effect. A short term lose for railroads, but a longer term gain as shippers opt for trans over truck. Hence, I look for another trucking collapse.

Final delivery to retail outlets will bear the brunt because the alternative delivery systems are not here yet. 

Was John Taylor at Stanford responsible for the spike in Congresional spending this recession?

Wrong Bush! Whoops! I absolve John at Stanford and blame Mankiw


Brad has a point.

We are again looking at three spikes in Congressional spending.  The first was the Wall Street bailout, definitely from  done with Hank Paulson and the hysterical bankers crowd.  I pin that on on Professor Taylor Mankiw.

The second was partly stimulus, and partly a bailout of the teachers union.  But who put Washington DC in the role of wage insurance for the teachers union? NCLB, a Bush/Kennedy/ Taylor fiasco.  I pin a quarter of the second spike on Taylor.  I think Taylor Mankiw did not argue for the general stimulus.

The final and ongoing spike in spending is entirely Obama and the democrats.

My score? Taylor Mankiw and the Republican crew are responsible for only about a third of the spending spikes.

Motorists take an oil hit

Gasoline shipments to the U.S. from Europe are poised to drop in April to the lowest in four months, reinforcing speculation that a surge in pump prices is hurting consumption in the world’s biggest oil user.

At least 15 tankers were scheduled to ship 570,000 metric tons of the fuel to the U.S. Atlantic Coast from Europe as of April 20, the least for a comparable period since December, according to Clarkson Research Services Ltd., a unit of the world’s biggest shipbroker.

“The main downside risk on gasoline remains the demand erosion or destruction risk as gasoline prices at the pump are starting to average $4 a gallon before the start of the driving season,” Olivier Jakob, managing director of Switzerland-based consultant Petromatrix GmbH, said on April 25. “The U.S. driving budget is double what it was in the spring of 2009.” Newsmax

If history repeats itself. First a reported drop in bookings for domestic tourism, then a reported drop in gasoline imports. The next report should be slower automobile sales. Airline manufacturing reports greater order volume but I am looking for cancellations of some of those orders next month.

But consider this alternative report from Nevada where tourism is the business:
With the national economy picking up steam, the Nevada economy is showing modest signs of recovery. UNLV
But when I dig into the spreadsheet, the author is showing a recent 5.5% decline in visitors, vs a YoY increase of .6%. This tells me the author is more about happy talk than realism.

Financial writers

Tell us the unit you are using.
I just read a Bloomberg article about rising sales, especially in the airline industry. They quote percentages. But is was two thirds of the way through the article before I found out that they were talking percentages of airplanes sold, not percentages of cash income.

Jamie Dimon, psychologist

“If the United States actually defaults on our debt, it would be catastrophic,” JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said recently at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “If anyone wants to push that button … they’re crazy.”
He says a lot of us our crazy out here in Fresno CA.

But Boehner supports more debt and he seems schizo about it:
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), for instance, has said a failure to raise the debt ceiling will play havoc with the global economy and kill jobs at home. Still, he’s warned that Republicans will allow both to happen if they don’t get “something big” in return.

Jamie Dimon is the lunatic, he builds a business around his ability to manage Obama, not a sound choice.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Look for the channel

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The euro zone's overall budget gap fell last year but deficits in Greece and Portugal were higher than expected, underlining the challenges presented by their austerity programs.

The 17-member euro zone is struggling to restore confidence in its public finances and tackle a debt crisis that has forced Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek emergency funding from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

When Europe adopted the Euro they accentuated the channel flow, the -nlog(n) {n=1,N} set up in Shannon theory. The periphery is just that, the periphery of the flow with more branches operating at a faster transaction rate with smaller quants. During a contraction, the number N reduces, and since the -nLog(n) have to remain within an integer to meet constant imprecision, so for the periphery, the quants become smaller, the rates faster; but reserves increase along the channel. Greece will decrease its deficit, but through the mechanism of default. But so what? The fiction that bondholders don't take defaults is just that, a fiction.

Shannon theory rules macroeconomics.

The economies, in this case the government channel across Europe, will tolerate nearly infinite amounts of volatility undr change conditions in order to maintain constant imprecision at the stable conditions.

Well wadya know!

Google, IBM and Cisco also are moving into the automotive space. According to one study, 90 percent of the innovation we’re seeing within the auto industry is driven by advancements in software and gadgetry.

“This is having a huge impact on every traditional area, because all the functionalities you might have in electronics or mechanical (systems) are being shifted to software,” Dominic Tavassoli, director of IBM Rational, said. His outfit helped assemble the code in the Volt. “There’s a lot of rethinking going on.” Wired

Here comes the revolution

Congress manages a rise in DC housing prices

But all other metro regions suffer housing price declines. The Schiller index is out.

I can see why our favorite DC resident is reviewing his Keynes.  He knows I am going to bash him about this.

My other favorite progressive, Kevin Drum lost 2.7%, annually,  on his house, and Eric Cantor voters thanks him for the supportive policies.  DeLong made a  sacrifice at -3.5%., and in the process put his government job at risk.  Thoma took a huge hit at -7.0%.

But Ms. Bachmann is going to be fairly pissed at a -8%. And our favorite soldier of fortune in Arizona is also taking an 8% hit.

NRO says drill, drill, drill

Here. And Boehner wants to remove oil company tax breaks.  A sensible agreement between the two camps.  Take the agreement now before the Socialist Oil oligarchs can mobilize.

Ants engage in production systems

Fire ants assemble as a 'super-organism' 
HT Instapundit

What is the point? Primitive ants simulate liquidity from discrete components. Each ant seeks to obtain the same constant of uncertainty about their relative position in the chain, they are actually minimizing neuronal activity. This is information theory, this is maximum entropy spontaneous order. It fundamental, and advanced animals do this with fewer points along the curve.

Paul, twisting toward the long end is called printing

Jim Hamilton could very well be wrong about whether we are printing or just swapping with QE.

Krugman continually points to Jim Hamilton's claim that moving the Treasury maturity peak out to the long end is not called money  creation;  just swapping assets.  The whole point of central banking is to create money based upon a better plans for the future, that is why we have a yield curve.

However, from the point of QE, there are two parties making the bet, the Fed and Congress.  By virtue of the failure of QE, it is clear that the rest of the economy considers QE and Treasury to be on an unsustainable path;  the remaining economy, local governments and the private sector, are not making that bet. Hence the increasing differences between growth revisions and nominal growth.

The two parties that control the money press are making a bet no one else agrees with.

Vampire Catholics worship dead corpse

Blood taken from John Paul to be used as relic

Dave Brooks has a moment of brilliance

The country is about to be offered the same two products: one from Soviet Production Facility A (the Republicans), and the other from Soviet Production Facility B (the Democrats). It will react just as it always has. NYT

Give him time and he will learn channel theory. Government and the economy have to be coherent, and the economy is not centered in Washington DC.

Reverse racism in California government?

What this suggests to me is that it’s not so much that Latinos, more than whites, favor government spending. It’s that Latinos, more than whites, identify and sympathize with the people who are employed by government– perhaps because, more than whites, they see government as a place where they or people they know might work. Kaus Files
HT Instapundit

Micky is looking further into the LA Times poll on public spending. Evidently Latinos and Whites agree on less spending and less taxes, but the Latinos want most of the remaining spending devoted to Latino jobs in government.

Another theory is that Latinos have an inability to calculate. That would explain how the Choo Choo scam got Jim Costa elected here in Fresno.

Still another theory is that Latinos have less access to the web. But that is changing:
Fifty-one percent of Hispanics and 46 percent of blacks use their phones to access the Internet, compared with 33 percent of whites, according to a July 2010 Pew poll. Forty-seven percent of Latinos and 41 percent of blacks use their phones for e-mail, compared with 30 percent of whites. The figures for using social media like Facebook via phone were 36 percent for Latinos, 33 percent for blacks and 19 percent for whites.MSN
The hope in Fresno County is that Latinos will discover the county checks they receive come from the property taxes they pay. There is no Great Exogenous and no Great Choo Choo.

Are we there yet?

The disaster declaration plot

In a strongly worded letter to President Obama on April 16, Texas Gov. Rick Perry asked for a federal emergency declaration that would release more US resources – and cash – to fight what may be the worst wildfire season in Lone Star State history.

"I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state," Governor Perry wrote.

But Obama has not yet responded. I suspected a plot when Jerry Brown asked for disaster relief after a mild rain along the Pacific coast. This has nothing to do with disaster relief, this is Obama using digitized Fed money to buy the most states for the next election. This is Chicago politics, and we have a a corrpupt president who figured that internet robots could never outsmart him, he's a DC Delusional.

Obama! It is not the stupidity of your supporters, it is the intelligence of the Internet, you can't get away with this stuff.

Opthamologist kills hundreds in parade ramage

The guy belongs in a Tim Burton movie 
Syria is a nutty place

Ryan Avent thinks QE2 was helpful

Ratio of employed people to total population 

Ryan thinks the QE was a big help in changing the employment ratio. See that little upward trend, from Oct 2010 until today?  I mean, bullshit.  That upward trend is so buried in the noise that no economist worth his salt is going to get a high correlation coefficient.

Ryan makes other claims about a slight upward tick in growth, but we all know that money is unstable, because of QE2, so we really do not know what happened to real growth.  Ever since QE began, revisions needed to get real growth have been larger and longer in coming.

QE was bullshit.

A bizarre religious freedom case for the Supremes

Richard Garnett talks about the  Hosanna-Tabor case. It is a little complicated for me and likely way over the heads of the Supremes, not the brightest bulbs around. I think is boils down to whether religions have to obey labor laws, a religious teacher was fired for having a disability.

As I understand it, religious freedom in this nation is about the freedom for organized psychotic behavior, the belief that decaying corpses float into the clouds, for example. I would think that as long as membership is voluntary, and they do not hurt non-members, then religious should be free to fire people at will, regardless of labor law.

What is the likely outcome of this case? Who knows with this court.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The robots will love this

New Embedded Vision Alliance trade group to promote computer vision
Jeff Bier, president and co-founder of BDTI (Berkeley Design Technology, Inc.), in a talk titled "Computer Vision in Mobile Devices: The Next Killer App?", plans to organize a new trade group to promote computer vision for tomorrow's smartphones and tablets. The group, Embedded Vision Alliance, will debut in May and consist initially of chip, tool, and algorithm vendors in computer vision technology.
The spin off will drive standard visions system for transportation bots.

Deranged Islamic Belt Bombers in London

Says Wikileaks.

Can't miss them, they wear scarves on their faces, kidnap and rape British girls and have huge bulges around their waistlines. I have a stack of Qurans, I burn them by the shovel full whenever the islamic belt bombers appears in the news.

We had natural disasters in California?

Governor Brown Requests Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to Help Communities Recover from March Storms

I live in California and didn't notice, actually the weather has been fairly mild. So I do a search, coastal storm damage california,and get one hit on the first page from the Sonoma County Press.  Odd. Texas is doing the same for fire damage.

I think we are seeing the unfolding of a plot! Let's see if  Illinois and New York declare disasters.  We may have found an accounting method to solve budget problems in the large states.

Ben Wells Is looking for Obama

If you are looking not only for clues into Barack Obama’s character but for a definition of what his presidency will mean to the country, then the speech on fiscal policy that he delivered at George Washington University the Wednesday before last is the most significant one he has ever given. New York Blog
Here is a clue, Obamacare. Obama will make whatever agreement preserves Obamacare.

Republican Communist watch

“I don’t think the big oil companies need to have the oil depletion allowances,” he [Bonehead] said. “But for small, independent oil and gas producers, if they didn’t have this there’d be even less exploration in America than there is today.”
Oil companies should pay the same rate as shoe lace manufacturers. And Communist idiots who try to manipulate industry should be voted out of office.

Web defeats Netflix

Netflix Falls as Second-Quarter Profit Outlook Misses Estimates
Netflix doesn't have Blockbuster to beat up on, they are now competing with millions of U Tube movie makers.

Pentagon defeats Congress

Pentagon Says It Is Ending 14-Year F-35 GE Second Engine Program
The key battle was catching the Bonehead trying to defraud the Pentagon in the first attempt at a budget.

Cal Watch disputes the LA Times on Tax hikes and spending cuts

The LA Times report on the poll is here. Wayne Lusvardi has a different interpretation here.

I am not an expert on polling, but Wayne makes the following assertion:
The real indicator of public opinion in a poll is revealed when the replies indicate extreme percentages such as 80 percent or higher or 20 percent or lower. Anything in between indicates that survey respondents may not be knowledgeable about the question or the influence of possible conformity effects.

Poll Results

Total White Latino
Cutting spending 33% 35% 29%
Increasing taxes 9% 11% 5%
Combination of cutting and increasing  taxes 53% 50% 60%
None 2% 2% 2%
Don’t know 2% 2% 3%
Refused 0% 0% 0%

Looking at this I am in some agreement, the certain voters prefer cutting spending 3 to 1 over raising taxes. This does sound like corruption from the LA Times.  I think the correct answer is cut spending by 30 billion and raise taxes by 15 billion.

A much better answer is to default and force the restructuring. 

The Malthusian curse

By Jeremy Grantham courtesy Zero Hedge

Arizona gets a war partner

remier Silvio Berlusconi says Italy will take part in strategic bombing raids over Libya.

Berlusconi's office issued a statement late Monday, after the premier spoke with U.S. President Barack Obama, saying Italy had decided to beef up its military action to better contribute to protecting civilians. AP

So, Jerry Brown, what side is California going to choose?

Yglesias wants someone to manage demand

He goes aback to the Great Depression in reviewing a book,  Alexander Field’s reinterpretation of the Depression and the War , a book that discusses the great productivity improvements from 1920 to 1940.  Then why the Gret Depression? Says Yglesias:
The Depression was caused by bad demand management and whatever bad supply side policies the Hoover or Roosevelt administration may have engaged in did nothing to change the fact that potential output was growing and poor macro outcomes were driven by demand-side issues.
Yglesias is of the opinion that there is a demand knob in Washington DC.

Let me explain how demand worked in 1928. The consumer hears about a great deal on furniture from the radio. He gets in the car, drives downtown and sits in traffic for an hour.  The cost of final delivery exceeded the gain from production.

Delivering goods from productive factories is not easy, it has never been easy. It is costly, and in 1929, the nation was short some 500,000 miles of automobile roads; Radio, suburbia and the automobile required a restructuring of transportation, not the setting of some socialist variable in DC.

I blame that socialist banker, Milt Friedman for misleading two generations for economists, and yes, I read Milt's book.

Texas needs four more Senators

I am with Rick Perry and his Tenth Amendment:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
There is no constitutional restriction against Texas getting it well deserved four more Senators, then breaking up the state into a mini-nation. Texas, and California deserve a total of at least ten new Senators. New York City should be its own state, as should the San Francisco Bay area.

Who would win in a civil war about better representation? It is the under represented states, those with massive populations, economic power and gross underrepresentation in the Senate who rule. They have the Congressional districts.

Levy Economics

We argue that unlike individual U.S. states and members of currency unions, the U.S. federal government can run deficits indefinitely without becoming “insolvent” in any sense or being forced to default. The government has this ability because the United States uses paper money that is not convertible to a fixed amount of gold or foreign currency. Multiplier Effect
If we can avoid default then why are we operating the Congressional budget on the edge of shutdown?

Answer: Yes, the little city around Washington DC will not go into default, unfortunately the rest of government will. The printed money they want does not make it to the periphery, it gets replaced with barter and Bitcoins.

Many economists have that problem in their theory, the Federal government is not a fixed point. We have central banking only to the extent that the government economy can adapt.

A bit of sanity

Earlier this week, the Arizona state Senate joined the House in approving a measure that will pare back the costs of government retirement benefits.

The catalyst for the reform, which GOP Gov. Jan Brewer has said she will sign, came from reports in the Arizona Republic that pension expenses now cost the state nearly $1.4 billion a year and that retirement trust fund reserves fall far below private industry standards for soundness. Lawmakers also discovered that some of the retirement trust funds were near depletion because of heavy losses during the stock market meltdown in 2008. For the past two years Arizona has had the largest fiscal deficit as a share of its budget of any state. WSJ

Sunday, April 24, 2011

How's the secessionist movement you ask?

I search the web occasionally, looking for more sites and articles. I will keep you posted, I am starting to hear some sane ideas about breaking up the union, like this one from UTNE.

My trick is to try and notice differences in the secession talk after each of these three budget battles.

Arizona's soldier of fortune

His partner, Lindsey Graham, the guy who said we can't burn Qurans:
Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican member of the Senate Armed Services committee, said that the quickest way to end the emerging stalemate was to "cut the head of the snake off". He said: "The people around Gaddafi need to wake up every day wondering, 'Will this be my last?'

This war has all the makings of a Charlie Chaplin movie. The whole thing stinks to high heaven like another Koch Brothers attempt at oligarchy communism.

Energy and the consumer

Of the six US recessions since 1970, all but the "9-11 year 2001 recession" have been linked to—of not triggered by—energy prices that crossed the 6 percent of personal consumption expenditures, he said. (During the shallow 2001 recession, energy prices had risen to about 5 percent of spending, which is higher than the long-term 4 percent share.)
Craig Johnson channels Jim Hamilton via Christina Berk

What should we make of this?

Go back and look at the article. Craig Johnson is from Customer Growth Partners, where they follow consumer constraints.  All the recessions since the post 1970s have been preceded by oil shortages. All the great depressions in the USA have been caused by fundamental change to transportation.

So what about financial crisis?  Financial crisis are what happens when bankers get hysterical about defaulting the bond holders.   Bondholders hire economists to justify government bailouts, hence the diagnosis for these 'Restructurings' are skewed toward finance.

Richard Grossman, show us the regression statistics

He claims that economists writing op eds should have regression statistics to back up their claims, then he makes this claim:
Had government spending not increased dramatically, the Great Recession would have morphed into a rerun of the Great Depression.
So, I ask, show me the regression statistics.

This economy is only the second time in modern history (post 1920) that we have suffered such a severe depression. Economists try to extrapolate events from 1930 into 2008. Economists are simply not that good, and Richard Grossman makes the same error as the op ed economists he complains about.

We have no proof that hysterical bankers will shut down the economy.  More likely, though unproven, is that the hysterical bankers would have been  fired and replaced with less hysterical bankers.

There is one thing we know for sure,  mass hysteria seldom lasts more than a few weeks. 

America is gonna have one huge yard sale

BEIJING, April 23 (Xinhua) -- China should reduce its excessive foreign exchange reserves and further diversify its holdings, Tang Shuangning, chairman of China Everbright Group, said on Saturday.

The amount of foreign exchange reserves should be restricted to between 800 billion to 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars, Tang told a forum in Beijing, saying that the current reserve amount is too high. Xinhuanet

The Brain is a muscle

According to David Neal, a psychology professor at the University of Southern California, “if muscular signals from the face to the brain are dampened, you’re less able to read emotions.” Forbes
HT Instapundit

I think I covered this. We recognize by monitoring the muscle movements we make.

Happy grave robber day


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thinking outside the box on toll roads

I was perusing Toll Road News and came across this article:
Cato Institute transportation specialist Randal O'Toole asks rhetorically in a blog: "When am I going to be able to get an app for my iPhone that allows me to use it as a transponder for tollways?" His question was provoked by a CNN Money report discussing how cellphones are taking the place of debit/credit cards as a payments mechanism.

Toll Road operators were asked about this, and all came up with reasons it cannot be done.
First the opinionated reporter's answer: never in America while two-thirds of the tolling is under the control of a collection of state toll agencies wedded to an ossified, dysfunctional institution called the E-ZPass Group.

And this:
Cell phones are not very accurate in locating themselves, at least not by the standards of electronic tolling with a specialized dedicated short range communications (DSRC) device, also known as a transponder or electronic tag. In electronic tolling a vehicle needs to be located within a few feet in order to make sure the right vehicle account is tolled. The toller needs locational accuracy down to the lane or one vehicle may get confused with the vehicle alongside.
And this:
Dick Schnacke, a technology expert at TransCore puts it this way: "People ask frequently about tolling via cellphone since it seems you can do everything else that way today. But it's technically very challenging. It has to be done at highway speed because everyone demands that these days. But it also has to be very accurate and reliable.

Why are these comments coming from folks stuck in a box?

Well, for one thing, I can use Google maps and plan a trip next year in Shanghai from my basement here in Fresno,CA. I could pay them today for a ride on the toll road next week. Would they refuse the money? Well, they would need to match my license plate to the my name to make sure I was prepaid in the database. That is about 200 lines of code, and well worth the effort to install the code.

The experts in the Toll Road business are entangled with Toll Road Business so deeply that they forget, I use my smart phone for hotel space, airline seat space, food space, car rental space and the rest. They do not yet think about being in the travel business which is all done by the Internet today.

How long will it take for Toll Road Operators to figure out they are in the travel business?  About five days after posting that article the light will blink on in their heads.

Lobbying and bribery determine military contracts

For Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta, the past few weeks have been champagne time. His firm, the Podesta Group, represents the winners of two of the most high-priced and fiercely fought lobbying battles in years.

The firm’s clients include the Boeing Co., which last week beat out EADS North America for a $35 billion defense contract to build a new generation of aerial tankers.

Podesta also lobbies for United Technologies Corp., the parent company of Pratt & Whitney, which won a crucial Congressional battle when the House voted to deny funding for a competing fighter jet engine bid by General Electric and Rolls-Royce.

While there could be several more twists before the contracts are finalized, experts already are tallying up the victors and losers.Roll Call Lobbying
They even have web site on how to bribe corrupt Senators. Then we have this:
In what may be the strongest signal yet of the new pro-labor orientation of the National Labor Relations Board under President Obama, the agency filed a complaint Wednesday seeking to force Boeing to bring an airplane production line back to its unionized facilities in Washington State instead of moving the work to a nonunion plant in South Carolina.NYT

What should we think?
All of this stuff smells of corruption in the age of the internet. We can sit here and post details about the corrupt socialists on either side. We are not forcing Congress into default because they are corrupt, but forcing default because the internet provides much better and efficient methods to allocate government goods. Default is simply the mechanism, the only mechanism, to accomplish a restructuring of government. It sounds bad because rich bankers scare us, but default is simply the name we ascribe to government restructuring.

This application is no different than air traffic control

For more than 150 years, spark plugs have powered internal combustion engines. Automakers are now one step closer to being able to replace this long-standing technology with laser igniters, which will enable cleaner, more efficient, and more economical vehicles.

In the past, lasers strong enough to ignite an engine’s air-fuel mixtures were too large to fit in a vehicle’s engine compartment. At this year's Conference on Lasers and Electro Optics (CLEO: 2011) -ITS International

Spark plug technology

Spark plugs replaced by lasers
For more than 150 years, spark plugs have powered internal combustion engines. Automakers are now one step closer to being able to replace this long-standing technology with laser igniters, which will enable cleaner, more efficient, and more economical vehicles.

In the past, lasers strong enough to ignite an engine’s air-fuel mixtures were too large to fit in a vehicle’s engine compartment. At this year's Conference on Lasers and Electro Optics (CLEO: 2011) -
I always though that turning the cylinder into a microwave cavity and injecting microwaves would work. OK, I declare the idea to be my patent.


The Taxi & Limousine Commission issued more than 1,000 tickets in March to livery drivers who illegally picked up passengers off the street - four times as many as the month before.

"We're just not going to tolerate anymore the prevalence of illegal street hails," TLC Chairman David Yassky said at the agency's meeting Thursday, where the numbers were revealed. NY Daily News
This occurs in the same week that Apple is criticized for tailing us with their smart phones. The new digital age says, hey, give these limo drivers a built in GDS-O-Meter and charge them a congestion price rather than have a hundred meter maids hunt them down. When we see city officials prefer the old system with its attending high costs, rather than the simple digital system, what do we think? Corruption.

Yes, cut the grants

The US House Budget chairman Paul Ryan proposes some serious reductions in federal transportation spending in his budget released today. US spending - mostly grants to the states is to drop by nearly a quarter $21b in 2012 from $85b in authorizations and in 2015 would be $25b or 30% lower than this year (see table nearby). Cuts like these are essential to ending the ballooning of federal debt with all the potential that carries for new financial crises, flight of capital, and crippling new taxes.

US road and transit spending along with "livability" grants and other fringe transportation programs has seriously outrun stagnant gas/diesel tax revenues and the program increasingly adds to the general Federal deficit, being funded with unfunded grants.Toll Road News
Grant money for higher government to lower government removes accountability, and always leads to graft. Local transportation districts can raise their own money from toll fees. Grant money is an attempt by a politician to engage in accounting fraud, separating the taxpayer from his choices.

Government theft

Paul Violette, former chief executive of the Maine Turnpike and an IBTTA president, now seems certain to face criminal charges, and could well be headed for jail. Investigators said yesterday at a hearing of the Legislature's Oversight Committee that only $15k of $200k of giftcards under Violette's control 2005 to 2009 were legitimately used for gifts, and they believe he used many of the remainder for his personal benefit on purchases unconnected with his job.Toll Road News

Government transportation is riddled with corruption, one of the reasons we are automating it.

Maine vs Libya vs Arizona

States are taking sides in the war between Arizona and Libya:
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) on Friday “joined the growing chorus of members of Congress who have condemned President Obama’s decision to enter the conflict in Libya without first seeking congressional approval,” The Hill reports.Senatus

Speaking of transitting my location (in the basement)

Sure, put GPS on my handheld and let the world know where I am, but pay me:
Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone and Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android smartphones transmit location data from the handsets back to the companies, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing documents seen by the newspaper.

Apple “intermittently” collects information about iPhone users’ whereabouts, transmitting the data back to itself every 12 hours, the Journal reported, citing a letter it said the company sent to U.S. lawmakers last year.

Google’s Android phones send location data to the company several times an hour as well as information about local Wi-Fi networks and a code identifying the particular handset, according to the report. Google declined to comment, the Journal said. Bloomberg

Yes, another Bitcoin application. If Google wants to secretly tail my ass then pay me in Bitcoins or take their tablet and shove it.

We don't need air traffic controllers

WSJ article on sleeping air traffic controllers:
Controller fatigue is obviously a major factor. The FAA has known about the problem for decades but has repeatedly swept it under the rug. Finally, on April 17, the FAA implemented changes to scheduling practices that will allow controllers more time for rest between shifts. But the changes only address part of the fatigue problem. And they don't face up to the reason for the FAA's repeated failures to deal with the issue.
People are unnecessary to the task. Video games perform the same stunts billions of times daily and rarely crash.

My suggestion?

Give each pilot a $200 Android tablet. Then call me and I will put together an open source distributed solution to traffic routing. Do I need government funding for the task? No, Silicon Valley is having a boomlet solving just these types of problems on the Android, there is plenty of money.

I would add Bitcoins to the mix so airlines could by airspace on their own priority schedule. 

Little happy talk on California budget

SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders began a new week of budget negotiations Monday with optimism, even as they admitted little progress on how to address the remainder of California’s $26.6 billion shortfall.

Brown, a Democrat, has missed his self-imposed deadline to put a special election on tax extensions before voters, and lawmakers say it’s increasingly unlikely that any such measure could be placed on the ballot June 7, when several municipalities hold local elections. CBS News

Jerry Brown made the same mistake Gov Walker did in Wisconsin, going after the low hanging fruit for his funders before tackling the big problem. In Brown's case he gave away public pension goodies, rather suddenly, just when the budget pressure was leading to results. So Brown sets the whole progress back a month, we are not likely to get the tax extension ballot measure.

Who debased the dollar?

Mainly US energy efficiency has been growing slower than global energy demand.  Couple that with two new entitlements under the Bush administration, an extra war, and we find that we have been borrowing from OPEC.

Energy efficiency vs energy demand have been the major determinant of foreign exchange rates since 2001.  The evidence is the very high correlation between the dollar deflater and oil prices.  We would see more wiggle room between the two if energy was not constraining.

Chnese Choo Choo taking a hit

Chinese High Speed Rail,   same old story, corruption, payola, bad construction, useless:
Liu’s legacy, in short, is a system that could drain China’s economic resources for years. So much for the grand project that Thomas Friedman of the New York Times likened to a “moon shot” and that President Obama held up as a model for the United States.

Rather than demonstrating the advantages of centrally planned long-term investment, as its foreign admirers sometimes suggested, China’s bullet-train experience shows what can go wrong when an unelected elite, influenced by corrupt opportunists, gives orders that all must follow — without the robust public discussion we would have in the states. WA Post Op Ed  

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Silicon Valley boomlet amid high unemployment

The story about Silicon Valley CEOs having a hiring binge.

What are they up to?
They are making vertical applications with HTML5 and distributed web servers. From carpentry to finance, they are putting occupation specific applications on the hand helds. It is not yet the transportation revolution, that will come after the second dip.

Domestic tourism take an oil hit

With gas prices above $4 in some states, Americans are canceling spring break plans and rethinking summer vacation, and some tourist destinations are offering gas vouchers of as much as $50 to talk people out of giving up and staying home.

At Mount Rushmore, only about 37,000 people decided in March that seeing the four granite-etched presidential sculptures was worth the trip, down from about 43,000 a year before.

At the Grand Canyon, a marketing executive for one company that offers sweeping helicopter vistas says 10 percent fewer people than last year are driving up and booking tours. The company is counting on international tourists to make up the rest. AP

And along the Rhode Island coast, where 800,000 people a year show up to gawk at the opulence of Gilded Age mansions, it's even worse - business is off 30 percent just since the beginning of March.

Harry Reid and his four Congressional districts are taking a hit from this.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weil downgrades Timmy

Fox Business reporter Peter Barnes began his televised interview with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner two days ago with this question: “Is there a risk that the United States could lose its AAA credit rating? Yes or no?”

Geithner’s response: “No risk of that.”

Another Bitcoin application

Bicycle clubs use smart phone software to monitor their bicycle commuting habits and incidents.  They get Bitcoins from the investors.  Investors get a database of pre-industrial commuter,. as plaintiffs in the public nuisance lawsuit against local gas distributers.  Bit coin has  has provable security in court.  One gets a side database, the relationshuip between weather turbulance and bike accidents.   Plaintiffs self collect data, prove damage, prove that pre-industrial is the public standard, collect $300 per year ofr each cycler.

It is the world we live in. Bitcoin is a robot, like Watson. Bitcoin will  have great utility across a number of applications, it is the new money.

My volcanoe/ice age theory

I haven't mentioned it lately. Real scientists don't have the data yet.  Here is my theory:

The ice melts, causes a sudden decompression of the earth upper crust.  Volcanic eruption material  blocks the sun and restarts the ice age cycle. A more direct link between solar and geologic. Real scientists are speculating that high pressure water injection into the crust accelerate ates the molting process.

Science is like a futures market.  The better can scour the research in many areas, then bet on the likely theory that gets acepted.  Real scietists bet on results ever?

Corruption with California redevelopment funds

Montebello officials discovered more than $1 million in two off-the-book bank accounts. That prompted a probe by Los Angeles County prosecutors that is still ongoing. Last month, Montebello officials said they solved the mystery, claiming the money went to a local developer as part of a complex loan to build a restaurant in the city.
Missing grants from the state ending up in the account of a restaurant owner. This from an ongoing investigation of corruption among city council members in Montebello CA.  Between Brown making payoffs to union member with state tax money and city council members stealing state redevelopment money; the middle class taxpayer in California is getting screwed by theft.

Robots volunteer in war between Arizona and Libya

U.S. President Barack Obama has approved the use of armed Predator drones in Libya, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday.

Gates told CNN the unmanned Predators would allow for "some precision capability" against the forces of longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, and will offer a "modest contribution" to NATO efforts to support Libyan rebels. CNN
Deciding to support Arizona.

Testing the top end

Oil prices from the crash to today.

OK, prices are back up, but what about volume purchased?

Back at 2002 levels, when gas was $30/barrel.  So the question is,  how has the economy adapted to higher oil prices?  We will find out soon.

This sound like the best outcome

At least, it makes perfect sense unless you, like me, had spent the previous few days talking to economists, investors and economic policymakers about what could happen if we start playing games with the debt ceiling. Their answers were across-the-board apocalyptic. If the U.S. government is so incapable of solving its political problems that it can’t come to an agreement on the debt ceiling, they said, that’s basically the end of the United States as the world’s reserve currency. We won’t be considered safe enough to serve as the investment of last resort. We would lose the most important advantage our economy has in the global financial system — and we’d probably lose it forever. Skyrocketing interest rates would slow our economy and, in real terms, make it even harder to pay back our debt, which would in turn send interest rates going even higher. It’s an economic death spiral we associate with third-world countries, not with the United States.

This is Ezra bitching because Ms Bachmann wants to stop federal debt accumulation today. Ezra gets hysterical, naturally, but Ezra is not the citizen of a median American congessinal district that loses 25% of federal tax dollar to Congressional programs. When Ms Bachmann needs a prticular bridge in her district, and suggests better uses for her constituents tax dollar, the Keynesians go hysterical nuts that we might threaten our socialist banking network.

Here is a worse fear for Ms Bachmans's district citizens. You people work hard, pay high energy fees in a cold climate and still fund congressional programs, both entitlments and Wars by Connecticut. If the federal government is doing the belly up, you will pay, and the longer you wait to restructure federal government, the greater the cost inflicted upon your district. Listen to Ms Bachmann.  For example here is Simon Johnsom commenting on the crisis:
In other words, the financial crisis will end up causing government debt to increase by more than 50 percentage points of G.D.P. over a decade. This is the major fiscal crisis of today and the likely one tomorrow. (I wrote more on this in a column this week for Bloomberg.)NYT Op Ed

That is, the middle class in Ms Bachmann's district pays for both the financial bailout plus the 25% they lose on the federal tax game. Michael Pettis is the go to expert on defaults, he will tell you the middle class pays for default. The Keynesians will say that we can avoid default, for a while, but they just pile on the cost of default more then necessary.

If you are still not sure look at the chrt presented by Niklas Blanchard:
 Median income vs Congressional spending

The voters in Ms Bachmann's district are close to the median Mr Bachmann still has the best plan, bite the bullet now.

Using Bitcoin software for road pricing

Bitcoin is te new open source digital money. Among its advantages is the secure point to point ecahnge of money via the public web. Generally users have a spending widget in their handheld or home computer.
The important point here is that bitcoin software is open source, and the software, or even bitcoins themselves, can be used for real time road pricing in a distributed intelligent transportation network.

I hereby patent the idea of real time road auctions. Here is how they work:

The car driver dials in his road trip to the handheld. On the morning of the trip, the handlheld road bidder widget begins to optimally bid for road space along he planned trip. Road space is allocated by managing traffic lights and signalling back to bidding cars when the lane belong to them, winning drivers following the green lights.

Simple concept, the system can be made open source and used for cabby fees, and generally secure cntrol over the traffic net. 
I think Bitcoins and a traffic company like Skymeter would be a good match.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I invent the balloon space telescope

A simple procedure to get ultra large mirrors into space for telescopes. In this inventions a large balloon inflates in space, possibly 100 meters in diameter.  After inflation, the robot spray a hardener onto its exterior.  hen take the harderned sphere and open one end for an aperture.  The other end is spayed for reflective silver and polished.  The spherical lens correction done with the collector lens.

Robots and transportation

I-15 LA to Vegas 

Intelligently driven, very high speed, multi-tram, rubber wheeled,  people movers. Micrprocessor control in each carriage car, diesel electric, good pavement, high performance tires.  We can do speeds of 140 MPH between LA and Vegas, moving 200 people per train. We have one working version, the Dutch superbus at 20 people.

We are talking about $10 million dollar a mile build cost across the dessert.  Today's technology.  Most of the cost comes from the demand for wideouts along the route, the service would make the entire desert basin a commuter  possibility. It would solve the the housing bubble in southern California.  The roadwork is nothing NASCAR hasn't been doing for years, the diesel electric is General Electric all the way, GM can build the carraiges, California does the systems and software.

You know I will keep an eye out for cost overruns and shennanigans. I can force this into an Open Source architecture. The cost to the state? Give us a protected lane along I-15, and the depression ends.

Dick Shelby, Republican Communist

Congressional approval of the plan — all while $38 billion is being cut elsewhere in the federal government — reflects not only the power of key lawmakers from NASA-friendly states, but the enduring influence of major contractors like Lockheed Martin and Boeing in those states.

For instance, a series of stop-gap spending laws had kept money flowing to the man-to-moon Constellation program because Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) initially tucked a provision into a 2010 budget bill — even though President Barack Obama and Congress agreed last fall to end that Bush-era initiative. An internal NASA audit pegged the cost of that move at $215 million over five months. Politico

Alabama canot survive without federal welfare, so they elect a Reublican Communist to keep the welfare checks flowing. Alabama generates a $1.66 in received funds for each dollar of federal taxes paid.

Is the Tea Party going to do anything about this monsense?

The Cost of a Vote Goes Up

 That is likely to be eclipsed by the bill for the Tea Partier Sharron Angle and her supporters, who seem to have spent $87 per voter in a losing bid to unseat Senator Harry Reid, who spent some $74 for his voters. NYT
The price of managing the media for an election will go to infinity with the internet. The robots will search out and find who funds the campaigners and report on them. Political parties become weaker.

What does Charles Kendrick consume from government?

The Wbosphere is talking about an article from Bay Citizen by Ms Stevens.

The article concerns a Charles kendrick with his $68 million fortune inherited from the Schlage Lock company. The claim is that Mr. kendrick does not consume government services, so there is no gain from taxing the guy more at the federal level. What does Mr. Kendrick do? He manages his four cars and keeps his money in stocks and bonds. Otherwise he is just another consumer in the wealthy Presidio Heights of San Francisco.

Mr. Kendrick does consume a large federal good, he gets a major financial insurance policy from Congress, courtesy of DeLongs demand that Congress guarantee 'safe assets'. His fortune is maintained automatically only because he is protected from the turbulance of government restructuring.  The price the middle class pays for Mr. Kendricks and DeLong's ludicrous policy is a government structure unable to apapt to changing conditions.

Gang of Six looking for a charade

Senate and House members, seeking to break an impasse over curbing the nation’s debt, are looking at a “club in the closet” mechanism that would force Republicans to agree to tax increases and Democrats to accept cuts to entitlement programs.

Proposals being circulated among the bipartisan “Gang of Six” Senate negotiators, and about 20 other lawmakers in both chambers, would set deficit-cutting targets, according to people familiar with the plan. They would impose automatic, across-the- board spending reductions and higher taxes if Congress failed to meet the goals. Bloomberg

Politicians live for this stuff, borrow more today and assume a future Congress will borrow less tomorrow.

Anti-Planner makes a booboo

Here is makes a omparison between the marginal tax rate and federal tax income, demonstrating that taxing the rich does notincrease revenue.  As my readers know, the real statistic is the ratio of federal consumption to the economy.  Looking at ratios, we see that dropping taxes on the rich increase government share of the economy, mainly because rich people buy more government.

One has to get marginal gain,  when rich people see a marginal gain from more Congressional spending, they take it. Actually Congressional speding would be nearly a trillion dollars lower if rich people viewed Congressional spending as a loss.

Jerry Brown busted

A taxpayer rights group has blasted California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, for giving the prison guards who funded his re-election a new contract that will eventually cost millions to a state that is virtually bankrupt.

The new contract, which must be ratified by the Democrat-controlled Legislature, undoes reforms that were put in place by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger aimed at curbing the powerful California Correctional Peace Officers Association. Specifically, Schwarzenegger imposed furlough days and refused to sign a new contract granting additional benefits.Tori Richards, AOL News

Simon Johnson taks about bogus fiscal adjustment

Start with the facts as provided by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Compare the CBO’s budget forecast for January 2008, before the outbreak of serious financial crisis in the fall of that year, with its latest version from January 2011. The relevant line is “debt held by the public at the end of the year,” meaning net federal government debt held by the private sector, which excludes government agency holdings of government debt.

In early 2008, the CBO projected that debt as a percent of gross domestic product would fall from 36.8 percent to 22.6 percent at the end of 2018. In contrast, the latest CBO forecast has debt soaring to 75.3 percent of GDP in 2018.

What caused this stunning reversal, which in dollar terms works out to a $10 trillion swing for end-year 2018 debt, from $5.1 trillion to $15.8 trillion?
Whoops on revenue:
Revenue Drought

For example, look at the tax revenue numbers for 2011, as a percent of GDP. The earlier expectation for 2011 was that the federal government would collect revenue equal to 19.3 percent of GDP. The forecast now is for revenue of 14.8 percent of GDP.

I don't think we will see 19.5% revenue, the internet automates to much of federal government.

California's typical corruption

“City Attorney Arnold Alvarez-Glasman led an investigation of an off-books $1 million bank account tied to his friend and former client, developer Hank Attina. Mayor Art Barajas tapped Alvarez-Glasman to investigate the $1-million Union Bank account discovered in February. Funds in the account were wired in November 2000 as a city subsidy to Attina, a developer who was building a restaurant at Montebello Town Square, according to bank records.”City News
It is hard to find anything good happening in California government. The option of forcing the government into receivership looks promising.

A Shia government in charge at the Arab league

BAGHDAD — After Libya was suspended from the Arab League last month, de facto leadership ended up coincidentally in the hands of Iraq, the Arab nation with the most experience — much of it painful — with a foreign-led military campaign against an unpopular dictator.NYT
Well I be hornswoggled

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Saving UCLA

Matt Kahn of the Environental and Urban bnlog says we should consider Gene Block's op ed, Gen Block being the president of UCLA, from the LA Times:
Ten years ago, students paid about $3,700 to attend UCLA. Next fall it will be $11,600. The governor has predicted that, without passage of the ballot measure, annual UC tuition could rise to $20,000 to $25,000.

If that scenario comes to pass, a year at UCLA, including housing, books and other living costs, could easily exceed $40,000. That is a frightening number for any parent of modest means trying to send their son or daughter to the University of California. For students attempting to save money by attending community college, budget cuts will restrict opportunities for many students to use this pathway.

And what of the legislators who have refused Californians the right to decide whether they want to face such a scenario? Perhaps they will excuse me, but I detect a certain irony in their posture. A majority of them graduated from California's public universities and colleges, and greatly benefited from the high-quality, low-cost education they received.

And he goes on to explain that we have Ivy League colleges for the middle class because of California tax payers.

No, we have Wiki for free, a big problem for traditional classroom, big solution for education.. If I am a smart kid who likes physics, then my first stop is not Printeton or UCLA, my first stop and last stop ends up being Wiki.  I can see retaining the labs, auditoriums, stadiums and gym.  Sell the classrooms, skip the lectures, dump the fantasy about Ivy League colleges.

What do we do about university presidents stuck in a delusion?