Monday, November 10, 2008

Breaking up is good to do.

In software development we have a saying. Fail often and fail early. The idea is that failure is an eventual given. We are going to make mistakes. And the system you use to build your software should be designed to discover them quickly and correct quickly. This significantly reduces the cost of failure and the impact of failure.

In the Pulitzer prize winning Book, "Gun Germs and Steel" the author explores why Western Civilization had all the things it needed to become the dominant power of societies in Australia, New Zealand, Africa, North, Central and South America. Becoming the dominant culture. It came down to the two countries that had access to the grains needed to have large population centers. China and Europe. However, Europe was a set of smaller countries fighting amongst themselves for resources while China was a very large monopoly. At one time China was sailing to the Americas and had an overwhelming naval fleet. One day the emperor decided to burn this fleet and has never recovered from that mistake. If Spain had made that choice then England or France would have made them pay and Spain would have learned from their mistakes and corrected quickly. But it was hundreds of years before China learned from their mistakes.

Now lets look at our Secondary Mortgage industry. Because Fannie May and Freddie Mac were created by Gov't legislation and supported by Gov't legislation they held a monopoly on a $12 trillion dollar industry. Now all institutions, especially if they are large and a monopoly develop group think. This is where they don't have different voices telling them they are wrong. So they start making mistakes. The problem with group think is that you see the world in a very specific way so it is very hard to realize that you are making the mistake. Even when you begin suffering the results of the mistake it is hard to see the root cause. This condition is inevitable for monopolies. So when we set up our Secondary mortgage system we need to create a system that identifies errors quickly, course corrects quickly and when failure occurs it is not devastating. This is why I think we should break up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into 20 to 50 smaller institutions. Reduce regulatory controls and let them compete. when one makes a mistake, let it go out of business. This failure is not devastating and others can learn from it. This is the way we avoid bailing them out in the future.

Build a system that fails early and often and significantly reduces the cost of failure. This is why Capitalism and competition is superior to Socialism and monopolies. Monopolies hold out the promise of control and central control. But it's a lie. Because failure will happen and failure in a central controlled system is devastating.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sub Prime Mortgages, What are they good for.

One of the key things killing this economy is the sub prime mortgages put into securities that come out of our secondary mortgage industry. So what is a sub prime mortgage and why do people want them and why would a mortgage company deal with them.

A sub prime mortgage is a mortgage that has low payments in the first 3 to 5 year but over time the interest rate rises to much higher than the prime interest rate and the loan payments become much higher after 5 years. so why would a person commit to a 20 to 40 year loan knowing that payments will climb over time so that they can not afford it. They do that because their credit rating is bad and the mortgage rate they would normally get would keep them from getting the house they love. So they take this loan to build their credit rating and in 3 to 5 years they refinance their house with their brand new clean credit rating. The intent of sub prime mortgages is for people with low income and poor credit to prove them selves.

so if the loan is much more likely to become default why would a company give the mortgage. Because they believe the value of the house will definitely climb. So if the loan must be foreclosed on in 3 to 5 years then the house will have gone up and therefore they will get their money back and possibly more because the value of the house has gone up. That was certainly true during the housing bubble but now that the bubble has burst, those sub prime mortgages are very scary problems. And that is one of the contributing factors. we have no idea when the house situation will even out and people can figure out what the actual value of those sub prime mortgages are. because if they get foreclosed on, people could lose their shirts on those houses because a foreclosed house is difficult to sell for profit in a bad housing market.

Next time you see Bill Clinton and a Democratic member of the house or Senate be sure and thank them for the 1999 legislation and the 2004 legislation that allowed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to include sub prime mortgages in their quotas for low income housing mortgages purchased and for helping them put those mortgages in our securities.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Forgotten Man

America met Joe the Plumber last week. But a pro-market economist writing over a hundred years ago was already familiar with Joe Wurzelbacher and Americans like him -- and understood how they are used and exploited by politicians.

"They are always under the dominion of the superstition of government, and forgetting that a government produces nothing at all, they leave out of sight the first fact to be remembered in all social discussion -- that the state cannot get a cent for any man without taking it from some other man, and this latter must be a man who has produced and saved it. This latter is the Forgotten Man."

"He Works, He Votes, Generally He Prays - But He Always Pays"

Sumner wrote of the Forgotten Man: "He works, he votes, generally he prays -- but he always pays -- yes, above all, he pays."Joe the Plumber has struck a chord in the closing weeks of this election because he represents the Forgotten Man. When he confronted Sen. Barack Obama on the campaign trail with the question of what would happen to his taxes under an Obama Administration should he realize his dream of owning his own business, Joe cast the decision that faces us in this election in stark relief:

Which will be better for our economy: Politicians redistributing our wealth or growing more wealth?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Government, The problem or The Solution?

Ronald Reagen was elected because of a phrase "Government is the problem, not the solution". I believe that this is mostly the case. While the Government is the solution in some cases, Since the 1930s, our federal gov't has become more the problem and less the solution.

Is deregulation really the problem? Lets explore the issue. Our economy is like a human body. Money is the blood and banks are like a bunch of hearts pumping money in and out of the system. A significant amount of money banks take in comes from Securities founded on Mortgages. Banks leverage securities up to 40 times. For every security valued at $1 million they can loan up to $40 million dollars. This keeps the blood moving. Of course, 40 times is crazy. So if 5% of that $1 million is bad, then they should not have loaned out $1,000,000 *.05 * 40 = $2,000,000. Even though the security's value should only be reduced to $950,000, the money they have outstanding that shouldn't be out there is $2,000,000. And then other banks used that $2,000,000 to also create loans. House of cards!!

The 5% number comes from the Governments estimation to the loans in play in securities that they expect to fail. The $700 billion number for the bailout is 5% of the $12 trillion dollar mortgage market.

Where do these securities come from? Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They were created to help loan company's have more liquidity so that more people who couldn't afford houses at that time, afford houses. So Fannie Mae buys up loans from loan company's and creates securities which other companies buy because mortgages are usually a very safe bet. The security's value is based on how much the market will pay for it. So it's value is not based on it's actual value just on it's perceived value. When the sub prime mess became public knowledge these securities perceived value went down far lower than 5%.

How did fannie mae come to exist and how does it do it's job --- Government Regulation dedicated to helping people get houses that couldn't afford it.

Wikipedia:
Fannie Mae was founded as a government agency in 1938 as part of Franklin Delano
Roosevelt
's New Deal to provide liquidity to the mortgage market. For the next thirty years, Fannie Mae held a virtual monopoly on the secondary mortgage market in the United States. In 1968, to remove the activity of Fannie Mae from the annual balance sheet of the federal budget, it was converted into a private corporation.[6] Fannie Mae ceased to be the guarantor of government-issued mortgages, and that
responsibility was transferred to the new Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae). In 1995, Fannie Mae began receiving affordable housing credit for buying subprime securities. In 1999, the Clinton administration and Fannie Mae shareholders encouraged the lender to increase the number of mortgage loans offered to those of low and moderate income, both to improve rates of home ownership among those groups and to increase profits.[7]
In 2000, due to a re-assessment of the housing market by HUD, anti-predatory lending rules were put into place that disallowed risky, high-cost loans from being credited toward affordable housing goals. In 2004, these rules were dropped and high-risk loans were again counted toward affordable housing goals.[8]

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac gave money to many people in Congress. The person who received the second most money is Barack Obama.

So how did we get all these bad loans into securities. There were a lot of reasons but one of them was Government interference. First we have the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act. This act was passed under Jimmy Carter and it said, if you are bank that receives deposits from low income areas, you must also provide housing loans to low income areas. This was the Government telling people who they could make loans to. Now this act is 31 years old and not enough to have created the amount of poison we have in our blood stream. Now we have a set of "Community Organizers" in organizations like ACORN. This is a Federally funded organization that uses the Community Reinvestment Act to intimidate banks along with other intimidation factors to force banks to give more loans to people who normally couldn't get it. There was an attempt in Congress to give money to ACORN in the recent bailout bill. Barack Obama was a Community Organizer for ACORN. ACORN has also been linked to a fair amount of voter fraud.

So is Gov't the problem or the solution? It's is certainly a contributor to the problem. Do we need more Gov't to solve a problem that they helped create? I don't think so!

Monday, October 6, 2008

To regulate or not to regulate

The financial crisis has created a lot of accusations about deregulation. I hear the word unbridled a lot. But lets review the facts. In 2004 and several time before that and after, the Republicans attempted to increase regulation on Fannie May and Freddie Mac and those regulations were defeated primarily by Democrats. In 2007 the democratic controlled congress saw that their support 30 year support of these monstrosities that were created by regulation was going to come around and hurt them so they ended up passing the similiar bills to what the republicans wanted in 2004. However, 2007 was too little too late.

The point here is regulation is neither good nor bad. It depends on the regulation. Republicans have been trying to get rid of bad regulation and bring in good regulation.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Feeling and Valuing

I want to provide some wonderful excerpts from one of my favorite books "The Fisher King and the Handless Maiden" by Robert Johnson

This Book is about our Wounded feeling function, probably the most common and painful wound which occurs in our Western world. It is very dangerous when a wound is so common in a culture that hardly anyone knows that there is a problem. There is general discontent with out way of life but almost no one knows specifically where to look for its origin.
Thinking is that cool faculty which brings clarity and objectivity - but provides no valuing; sensation describes the physical world - but provides no valuing; intuition suggests a wide range of possibilities - but provides no valuing. Only feeling brings a sense of value and worth; indeed, this is its chief function. Without feeling there is no value judgment. To lose one's feeling function is thus to lose one of the most precious human faculties, perhaps the one that makes us most human. We can understand the term feeling more accurately if we define it as the capacity to value or to give worth to something. People who have a finally differentiated feeling function bring grace and good feeling with them; one feels valuable in their presence.
The feeling function is a casualty of our modern way of life. To search out the loss or woundedness of this most valuable faculty is the task of our book.

...
The very term feeling is itself ambiguous, an orphan word. Its true meaning has not quite differentiated itself from its tactile origins. It derives from the verb to feel in its tactile sense. Our use of the word feeling is made to describe much more subtle realms. The act of valuing has no dignified term of its own and is still tied by an unseen umbilical cord to the realm of sensation. Little wonder that strong feeling is unconsciously tied to some physical act that we think should give expression to it. Of course, one may make sublime expression of feeling by a physical act, but feeling should not be unconsciously tied to the physical realm. Feeling is on of the wonderful, terrible, ambiguous words that contribute so much to our confusion.

Friday, September 12, 2008

What the world is thinking

I found an article today at www.gallup.com that talks about a world poll. What is the world thinking. What does the world want. Well they want a "good job". For me that begins to describe victory in Iraq. When the vast majority of Iraqi people can provide a good life for themselves and their family, we will have won the war in Iraq.

Excerpt from article

What the whole world wants is a good job.

That is one of the single biggest discoveries Gallup has ever made. It is as simple and as straightforward an explanation of the data as we can give. If you and I were walking down the street in Khartoum, Tehran, Berlin, Lima, Los Angeles, Baghdad, Kolkata, or Istanbul, we would discover that on most days, the single most dominant thought carried around in the heads of most people you and I see is "I want a good job." It is the new current state of mind, and it establishes our relationship with our city, our country, and the whole world around us.

Humans used to desire love, money, food, shelter, safety, and/or peace more than anything else. The last 25 years have changed us. Now we want to have a good job. This changes everything for world leaders. Everything they do -- from waging war to building societies -- will need to be done within the new context of the human need for a "good job."


How does this change everything?

  • The leaders of countries and cities must make creating good jobs their No. 1 mission and primary purpose because securing good jobs is becoming the new currency for leadership. Everything leaders do must consider this new global state of mind, lest they put their cities and countries at risk.
  • Leaders in education will be forced to think beyond core curricula and graduation rates. If you are a school superintendent or a university president, you'll need to recognize that students don't want to merely graduate -- their education will need to result in a "good job."
  • Lawmakers need to contemplate whether and how new laws attract or repel a wide range of individual value systems. If enough people are sufficiently repelled, then the new laws will effectively strangle job creation.
  • Military leaders must consider it when waging war and planning for peace. They must ask themselves whether military strikes, occupations, or community policing will effectively build a growing economy with good jobs. The opportunity to have a good job is essential to changing a population's desperate, and violent, state of mind.
  • The mayors and city fathers of every city, town, and village on Earth must realize that every decision they make should consider the impact, first and foremost, on good jobs.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

How to know you are on the wrong side of an issue.

When they write a Country and Western Song about the issue. Today Newt Gingrich is promoting a country and western song about the fact that Congress is still blocking domestic drilling. The song sung by Aaron Tippin has the following phrase in it:

Hello…..Is anybody out there listenin’ in Washington D.C.
This is the suffering voice of America crying out for relief
Now I don’t know what a gallon of gas costs up on Capitol Hill
But we sure know what it costs down here in Realityville
And the damage already done has been a mighty heavy toll
And if we’re gonna fix it we gotta start right here at home
CHORUS:
Drill here, drill now
How ‘bout some oil from our own soil that belongs to us anyhow
No more debatin’ we’re tired of waitin’ everybody shout out loud
Drill here, drill now

.
.
.

This is funny on so many levels!!!

The Meaning of Life

To me Life is a bootcamp for the next one to come. I found this quote on line and liked it a lot.

We are enrolled in a full time, informal school called, "Life." Each day of this school, we have the opportunity to learn lessons. We may like the lessons or hate them, but they are part of the curriculum. The greatest lessons we learn are about love and fear, that every action is either an expression of love, or a call for love. And the great blessing is that every lesson repeats itself until we learn it. ~Mary Manin Morrissey

Monday, September 8, 2008

big bounce






The RNC is looking at a big bounce in the daily tracking polls. Rasmussen has McCain up by 1 point and the Gallup poll has him up by 5. The interesting thing we see in the daily polls is the number of undecided begin to get smaller and so far they are breaking of McCain. In Rasmussen we see Obama staying at 46% while McCain steadily climbs to 47%. The Gallup polls shows Obama losing votes. So I'm not sure what is going on.






In the first national polling results based entirely on interviews conducted after the Republican National Convention, McCain attracts 47% of the vote while Obama earns 46%. When "leaners" are included, it’s McCain 48% and Obama 47%. Tracking Poll results are released at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time each day and a FREE daily e-mail update is available.




The big question is: "can McCain win?". According to the electoral map Karl Rove puts out, I don't think so. However, this map is before the convention. Did the convention change the map? Before the RNC Obama looked like he had 260 electoral votes and you need 270 to win. So one or two of the swing stats goes his way and he has won it. How many has moved in McCains way????












Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Stop the Bird Porn

Finally someone fighting the good fight and trying to end all this elicit bird watching. Most people who report on this believe it is probably a joke but the protesters seem to take it seriously.

Dave Barry on Bird Porn Protesters at the DNC

Practice makes perfect

Ever try to do something very well and failed? Well here is the recipe for success. Do it over and over again until you get it right. Plan to throw away what you did at first. They do this in movies and TV with scene after scene. They do this in the Olympics with athletes practicing and practicing hours and hours.

Initial Article

Although I am not at all ready to call software development "art" -- perhaps "craft" would be more appropriate, or "engineering" if you're feeling generous -- the parallels between some of the advice offered here and my experience writing software are profound.


The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the "quantity" group: fifty pound of pots rated an "A", forty pounds a "B", and so on. Those being graded on "quality", however, needed to produce only one pot - albeit a perfect one - to get an "A".
Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the "quantity" group was busily churning out piles of work - and learning from their mistakes - the "quality" group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

Where have I heard this before?

  • Stop theorizing.
  • Write lots of software.
  • Learn from your mistakes.


Quantity always trumps quality. That's why the one bit of advice I always give aspiring bloggers is to pick a schedule and stick with it. It's the only advice that matters, because until you've mentally committed to doing it over and over, you will not improve. You can't.

When it comes to software, the same rule applies. If you aren't building, you aren't learning. Rather than agonizing over whether you're building the right thing, just build it. And if that one doesn't work, keep building until you get one that does.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The beginnings of a bounce.



Gallup has Obama up by 9 points and the Rassmussen poll has him up by 3 points. I suspect the Rassmussen poll bump has more to do with Bill and Biden. I don't think last nights speech has effected the rassmussen poll yet. I suspect rassmussen will widen more. I wasn't impressed last night but I suspect he did what he needed to lay out his agenda for the next couple of months.




McCain now needs to lay off the attacks during the convention and focus on his agenda. Give people a reason to vote for you beyond I'm a great guy with lot of experience and Obama is bad. If McCain wants to see his poll numbers go up, not just see Obama's go down, he has to lay out a positive agenda for the next 4 years. I will say this much. His VP pick shows off his maverick side and reaches out to the female voter. I think it is a good move.

She is kind of cute also. I wonder if she has a sister somewhere!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

how to irritate an aethist

Dark Matter


Oh man you are going to love this one.

Or this one, My atheist Friends will hate this one

just a slip to whet your appetite. I can't stop smiling!!!

Astonishing discoveries have surfaced which point to the existence of a transcendent extra-dimensional Creator. Furthermore, numerous recent discoveries now confirm the incredible scientific and historical accuracy of the Bible, as well as the supernatural origin of its texts.
The entire Creator Series is now available in this one, self-contained CD-ROM. This CD-ROM includes all of these great studies:
The Creator Beyond Time and Space:
What are the implications of the current upheavals in traditional cosmology, astronomy, and physics? What is the significance of the recent discovery that the Universe is finite?
As scientists begin to understand the interactions of basic forces, they discover an unending series of incredible inter dependencies, delicately balanced.
As part of their recent series on the Creator Beyond Time and Space, Chuck Missler and Dr. Mark Eastman explore the recent scientific evidences revealing the Infinite Designer and a finite universe.

No bounce yet


maybe I don't know what I'm talking about but there is still no bounce yet from the DNC. According to the polls from Rasmussen and Gallup we are still locked in a virtual tie.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/general_election_match_up_history


How does this not scare the hell out of democrats is confusing. Maybe it does and they are hiding it. Or we all are waiting for the giant speach at invesco field with the 75,000 adoring fans and the stage from Greek Mythology. I wonder if the speech he has planned there will give him his bounce or will it be another failure like his speech to the 20,000 adoring Germans. I think the problems is the election cycle this year has been way too damn long, the fighting between Hillary and he went on forever and ate up news cycle after news cycle. Any chance to reintroduce him self to people through the convention is gone. We all know him, we've seen so much said about him already. 4 days of speeches by his fellow democrats are just not going to move people much.
Time will tell.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Funniest Passive Aggressive Note ever

Apparently 5 girls and 2 men moved in together. After a year the guys got tired of getting up at 3 in the morning to let in the drunken girls who didn't bring their keys.

Article

1. Maybe you shouldn't room with Amy Winehouse.
2. If a drunken girl is pounding on your door in the middle of the night do you
(a.) Get up happily and take care of business
(b.) Right a note telling them they are going to die crack whores if they don't stop.

Well you do (a) if you like girls and you do (b) if your controlling mother has led you to putting up brad pitt posters in your room.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Proof Positive that Texas Tech will beat OU at home and win the Big 12 to go on to win the national Title

http://raiderpower.blogspot.com/2008/07/texas-tech-vs-oklahoma-ncaa-09.html

article


If you read it, you know I'm dreaming. But if we didn't like to dream, no one would buy lottery tickets. I think I need to go to 7-11.

Election Prediction

Right now and for the last couple of month the polls indicate a very slight movement toward McCain but the real issue is not those voting for McCain nor Obama. It's the 12% to 20% of voters that still haven't made up their mind. When they begin to break toward a candidate then we will know who has real chance to win. Fox News came up with a poll where they asked the question, if you had a life altering situation, who would you turn to for advice, McCain or Obama.

The results indicated good news for McCain especially among the undecided. Independent voters pick McCain by a 15-point margin (41 percent – 26 percent).

There is still plenty of time for Obama and McCain to begin moving those minds but right now McCain has a little sunshine in his camp. Not a lot but it's always nice to see the sun begin shining through the clouds.


Full Article
These undecided voters will likely determine the presidential election outcome. So what do they feel in their guts about the two candidates? The FOX News poll tried to get at that question by asking: If you had to make the “toughest decision” of your life, who would you rather get advice from — Obama or McCain?
Based on that question, there are signs that undecided voters may be more inclined to move to McCain than to Obama. The largest number of undecideds – 38 percent – would rather get advice from McCain – that’s nearly three times as many as the 13 percent that would go to Obama. The remaining say “neither” (27 percent) or are unsure (18 percent).
Furthermore, independent voters pick McCain by a 15-point margin (41 percent – 26 percent).
As one would expect, most Obama voters — 78 percent — say they would go to him for advice. Similarly, fully 83 percent of McCain voters would consider him their trusted guru on a tough life decision.

While 68 percent of Democrats would go to Obama for advice, nearly one of five – 18 percent – would pick McCain. Most Republicans (74 percent) would go to McCain, with less than one in 10 saying they would pick Obama (7 percent).
Overall, slightly more voters say they would turn to McCain in this situation (43 percent to 37 percent Obama).
In such a tight race for the White House, where both candidates have positive favorable ratings and strong support from their party faithful, there are some troubling signs for Obama from undecided voters

I was wrong

So I was wrong and the truth was, he never really even considered her seriously. I think from a getting elected perspective, I still think she and with her husband have something no candidate could offer. But it does create the risk of the election becoming more about her and bill than Obama. However, if I did get elected as the president the last person I would want as Vice President would be Hillary and Bill. Talk about fearing back stabbing and trying to take over the white house, not to mention Bill and the ladies!!!

So Biden, well I like Biden as a person. The field of Democrats in Iowa, I thought Biden had the most impressive resume. How anyone could choose John Edwards over Biden always confused me. Biden is generally a good person and very experienced. I think most of his ideas are wrong but that is just me.

Who will McCain go for????? That is a tough one. I don't like Mitt Romney and I'm sorry but how anyone can be a Mormon is confusing. I don't think it should be illegal but I have trouble voting for one. I like Lieberman but that choice is unlikely but one of my favorite. I'm a huge fan of Newt Gingrich but no chance of that. I would love, love, love to see either General Patreus or Colin Powell. But I can't tell if anyone is seriously pursuing this as an option. At this point there are a ton of Governors out there. I think the Florida Governor is awesome.

So my prediction.... Joe Lieberman!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

You Heard It Here First!!!!

I thought it was weird when Obama gave Tuesday night to a Hillary speech and a Wednesday night speech to Bill. Then I heard that Obama is getting about 52% of the Hillary voters. That is not very good. Therefore, I predict that Hillary is the VP pick. With him falling behind in the polls he needs a boost. I think she is his one chance to turn around the drop. He needs someone who can attack McCain effectively and people will pay attention to what the VP is saying. She is the only candidate that can garner the media attention that would make her attacks effective. Also, Barrack is aware of how effective her attacks can be and she had to be gentle or alienate the far left forever.

You heard it here first !!!

Can McCain win New York?



Here we see McCain behind in new york by 11 points in May. The last week we see him closing by 3 points We also see undecided move from 8% to 14%. that is almost a double in those undecided. If McCain can carry New York, does he win the election? probably!!!! In almost all polls we see over 10% of the population undecided. Which way will they break. We know that during the Hillary Barack contest they tended to break to Hillary.

Obama will probably pull ahead here during the Convention and McCain will never catch up. But it's interesting to see NY leaning red.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

We saw this with Hillary and now it's happening as Barack faces McCain

He just doesn't wear well with the American people. The more people get to know him the more people don't vote for him. Or it could be that McCain is coming after Obama hard and it's hurting him. When Hillary went after him hard, she made a lot of in roads.







The Reuters/Zogby HorseraceAugustJuly
McCain46%40%
Obama41%47%
Not sure\/Other13%13%




Obama Support July August Difference
Democrats 83% 74% -9
Women 50% 42% -8
Catholics 47% 36% -11
Ages \<35>59% 47% -12
College Grads 51% 40% -11
Live in Cities 54% 43% -11
Income \<$50,000 53% 46% -7
Southerners 46% 35% - 11

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Genius

Every once in a while you find a website that makes you hit yourself on the head and say, Why didn't I think of that!!!!

http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.com/2008/07/20/american-analog-threat/#comments

This is my favorite note so far. be sure and read some of the comments. They are almost as funny as the note themselves.

Monday, August 18, 2008

McCain wins first debate

I watched the Obama side and I'm looking forward to the McCain side of the debate. I have it Tivo'd but haven't watched it yet.

It's interesting that the first debate was held during the Olympics.

Here is an article claiming MCain won the night. I've even heard that Obama's people are claiming McCain cheated by knowing the questions before hand.

Synopsis:
This was not your usual political TV show. Warren — Pastor Rick, around here — asked big questions, about big subjects; he wasn’t concerned about what appeared on the front page of that morning’s Washington Post. And his simple, direct, big questions brought out something we don’t usually see in a presidential face-off; in this forum, as opposed to a read-the-prompter speech, or even a debate focused on the issues of the moment, the candidates were forced to call on everything they had — the things they have done and learned throughout their lives. And the fact is, John McCain has lived a much bigger life than Barack Obama. That’s not a slam at Obama; McCain has lived a much bigger life than most people. But it still made Obama look small in comparison. McCain was the clear winner of the night.

Here is why I think Obama is slime:

The contrast was striking throughout each man’s one-hour time on stage. When Warren asked Obama, “What’s the most gut-wrenching decision you’ve ever had to make?” Obama answered that opposing the war in Iraq was “as tough a decision that I’ve had to make, not only because there were political consequences but also because Saddam Hussein was a bad person and there was no doubt he meant America ill.” But Obama was a state senator in Illinois when Congress authorized the president to use force in Iraq. He didn’t have to make a decision on the war. That fact was a recurring issue in the Democratic primaries, when candidates Hillary Clinton, Joseph Biden, Christopher Dodd, and John Edwards argued that they, as senators, had to make a choice Obama didn’t have to make. And now he says it’s his toughest call.

Not to mention he was a state senator from an extremely liberal area of Chicago that was already opposed to the war. Wow that was really brave to claim to oppose a war that you couldn't effect and be on the position of most of the people you were representing.

and ...

McCain bested Obama again when Warren asked for an example of a time in which he “went against party loyalty and maybe even against your own best interest for the good of America.”“Well, I’ll give you an example that in fact I worked with John McCain on,” Obama said, “and that was the issue of campaign ethics reform and finance reform.” But it turned out that was an issue on which Obama had briefly allied with McCain and then jumped back to the Democratic mother ship, causing McCain to write Obama an angry note about the abandonment of what had been a principled position. As far as bucking your party goes, it wasn’t very big stuff.

So the one time he bucked his party was for a week to which he eventually caved and abandoned his promise to McCain. Hmmmmm.... So he has a habit of saying whatever the situation calls for and then not sticking to his promises. This sounds like his position on the war, oil drilling and everything else he has promised to win this election.

Obama did neither of these things but claims that he did and the press does nothing to hold his feet to the fire and demand a little thing I call... Accuracy! How the hell does this guy even get ratings above 40%? oh I know, the press gets wood in their pants every time he gets up and promises to be their savior.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Equal treatment creates Inequality

"From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict which each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time."
found at:

This is one of the reasons I don't like Obama. He wants to reward people for poor behavior. The power of Captalism is that it rewards people for good behavior (economically good) and punishes people for bad behavior. This leads to more good behavior and less bad behavior. It's painful at times but the only effective way to create real change in people's behavior is to provide incentive along with punishment. When you try to remove the pain of doing self-destructive things like not improving skill sets, taking risks, getting educated, not going to work, taking drugs or alchohol then you get more of this behavior. Therefore the cost of removing the pain of this behavior continues to go up which leads to more which leads to more cost which leads to more which leads to the collapse of the USSR and the embrace of captilism by the chinese or the bone crushing proverty of Cuba.

So when Obama promises Windfall profits taxes on Oil Companies and then promises $1,000 per person (who isn't rich) from this tax, I think WTF!!!! I'm not so stupid as to believe that the oil companies are going to absorb this tax out of their profits. No what we will see is energy costs go up because now the taxes oil companies pay went up, this is the last thing we need. Please keep the $1,00o and invest it in oil drilling, shale oil extraction, bio fuels, wind power, nuclear power, natural gas conversion of existing fleet, natural gas gas stations and electric cars.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

drawing closer to war

found at

Let's play "What if". What if Russia shuts down the Georgia Pipeline? Well, if we look at the map we see that Russia could easily handle all the oil coming through Baku by using the existing pipeline from Baku north into Russia where the oil is easily mixed into existing pipelines from Russia that supply Europe.It gets better. What if Russia decides to go after Azerbaijan as well. Well, well, lots of wells...oil wells that is! If Russia controlled Azerbaijan they would have a route for Irans oil to flow directly into Russia where again it could be sold to Europe or used in Russia or even piped to Chita Russia and into China through the new planned Russian and Chineese oil pipe system. Iran would gain another exit route for its oil...a route secure from the US and Israel.The plot thickens. Suppose Israel acting on behalf of the US decide to attack Iran's nuclear facilities thus spreading nuclear fallout in Iran and possibly destroying the pipelines around Tehran. How much would Russia like that? Would they sit by and let it happen, knowing that the result would bring US troops to secure Iran's oil for the US.....oil that Russia wants to secure just as much as the US?Well, alot of what ifs, but if the US and Russia continue to both play the game of "Secure the Worlds Oil", then the outcome is inevedible....WW3.

John Edwards is confusing me

I can't tell if John Edwards is a total idiot or a Genius. So he gets caught in recent weeks going into a hotel room with a girl and spending, I believe the evening. He denies having an affair with this woman and being the father of the baby for weeks. Then goes on TV and says he had an affair with her in 2006 but that he is not the baby's father. And says he wants a paternity test but some how the woman doesn't want one?

Now didn't we just catch you visiting her in a hotel room like 3 weeks ago and you say the affair ended 2 years ago?

And why in the world did you go on TV and admit to an affair you were claiming didn't happen. What caused this shift and why go public.

It could be to try and save his political career. I think he is an idiot if he thinks that will happen. IT could be to continue grabbing headlines to continue hurting the Obama campaign. It could be that he committed a few crimes in funnelling campaign money to her and is trying to go on the record before she goes public or someone else does and tells the real truth.

I don't understand why he is prolonging this situation by going on TV and talking about it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

War, what is it good for!!

Lets begin this blog with one basic premise. War through out the centuries has been basically about who is controlling the resources two different sets of people want to control. It could be land, water, food and religious sites or buildings. But it is fundamentally about insuring a society has and controls resources vital to it's existence. I believe this deeply. I don't think it is all that great of a thing to do, but it is what the human race has done for as long as it was capable of waging war.

Now think about who the most dangerous countries in the world are: America, China, Europe, Russia and India. Then think about what is happening with Oil. The reason oil is doing what it is doing is that the middle class in China and India are growing very quickly. What does the middle class people like to do, drive their cars, cool their houses and eat good food. That all takes tons of energy. This situation scares the hell out of me!

Are we headed to war if we don't figure out our energy issues? I think we are. We have to focus all our resources on fixing our energy dependecy or we need to be investng in a bigger army. I know which one I want.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Jon Voight gets Nasty

I was surprised by the verocity of this op ed piece by Jon Voight.

200,000 or 20,000 who is counting!!!!

The Daily Gut

REPLACEALOGUE: OBAMA HAS NUMBERS ON HIS SIDE
As it turns out the 200,000 people attending Barack Obama's speech, as reported by his staff, in front of Berlin's Siegessäule was off, give-or-take, by about a 180,000 people.
According to people who can count and not people who believe in change that is.
I contend that this slight over-estimate is not important in the least! We are only talking about an extra zero added to the end of some number. While I have been out of college for a while, last I checked a zero equals nothing.
If you do not believe in change, then you are a zero who lives in a past mired in accuracy.
Correct mathematics has been a bane to anyone who counts themselves on the side of change. Was it so long ago that correctly counting votes in Florida cost Al Gore the 2000 election? How can we be progressive if we as a society can not let go of this tainted legacy and step boldly forward into a better tomorrow?
The answer is we can not, because people are focusing too much on facts instead of what is important: change. Barack Obama exemplifies that. Yet change does not come without ourselves changing. We have to change our critical ways, because crtiticizing Barack Obama is voting against change.
That is wrong and unpatriotic.
And if you disagree with me, you sir are worse than my music teacher in elementary school.

Berlin review

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thankfullness

I read several blogs from AA people and I think they are beautiful. They write down everyday what they are thankful for. I feel inspired, I don't know if I will do this every day but I think it's a good thing to be appreciative for what God, the universe or your higher power has given you.

I appreciate hanging out with Susan on Sunday
Seeing my brother Sunday at church and Getting to go to my nieces birthday party.
I appreciate my house and the ability to maintain it.
I appreciate that no one from the OKC branch was affected by the recent layoffs in my company
I appreciate how long I've got to keep my dog despite his poor health.
I appreciate the opportunity to speak on Ritual at the Agile 2008 conference in Toronto
Talking to Laken on the phone and keeping up with that relationship.
I appreciate the people who help me like Lloyd, Donna and Lisa.
I appreciate reconnecting with Bree, I've missed her.
I appreciate lunch with friends from work.

I appreciate my life and all that it means.

Recently I was reading about how one solution to the issue of probability with in quantum physics is the multi verse theory :
This is where each possible outcome of a quantum event could create two or more separate universes. This had me think about what it would mean if there is version of me for every possible decision I made in life. Someone who didn't go to college, who dated and married several of the girls that I let go, someone who majored in psychology and not computers or was a lawyer. Someone who joined the army instead. What if there a millions and millions of me experiencing all the possibilities of what life has to offer. Then what happens if when I die, I go to heaven and it is an integration of those people who experienced every one of those different events. Who would I be in heaven if I had lived and experienced every possible outcome and decision of my life. Interesting to me! It is also makes judgement of my life interesting. Some many of our decisions are dictated by our past but what if there were millions of me who had experienced both positive and negative decisions by others that influenced me. What kind of excuse would I have, none, I would know what would have happened if all those negative influences were not there.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Jesse Jackson and Freudian slips

Recently Jesse Jackson claimed that he wanted to cut off Obama's nut's because he was talking down to black people. This appears to be a reference to Obama telling a black church that Black's need to start taking personal ownership of their lives.

I find that the claim to castrate Obama is exactly what Jesse has been doing to black people for 40 years. I feel that the civil rights movement has moved away from helping black people and works to keep them as victims that only the Gov't can help. That is castrating, or making impotent the individuals who are in the black community. Can the Gov't do things that help, probably but it will never truly create the society that blacks are capable of and deserve. Only black people can do that, People who continue to create victims and a victim culture for political power and financial gain are an anathema to all that they hoped to accomplish initially.

Why Jesse hates Obama


http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/07/the-black-indiv.html

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Liars to the left of me.

I love Sunday morning. I like to get up and fix myself a nice sized breakfast and watch all those political talk shows. There isn't a one that I wouldn't watch if I had the time. Except for the Chris Matthews show, that has become so liberally slanted I think my eye balls are going to start bleeding. My favorite part is where the political Analyst get together and have an honest debate about what is going. The one thing I do hate is when someone comes on and begins repeating the talking points of one of the parties. I hate that, I turn it on for original thought and to hear things and perspectives I have not heard before. Or to hear my thoughts and feelings around issues expressed and have the other side respond to those to see if they stand up to scrutiny. However, the last couple of weeks, I think I'm going to stop watching.

If I hear one more time how all the Right wants to do is drill, drill and more drilling, I'm going to .... Well nothing really but I wish I could do something, violent in nature!!!

Yes the right wants to drill but they have said over and over.... We need nuclear power which they have been pushing for 30 years, we need wind, solar, hydrogen, electric cars, clean coal and Bio fuels. They have blocked higher standards in automobiles and in retrospective this was a bad move. But George Bush has given over 1 billion dollars in tax credits to bio-fuels and has invested millions in green research. Do we need more? ABSOLUTELY!!!!!! So come back from your summer break and pass a bill that would give millions more to this research. When the left says all the right wants to do is drill, drill and more drilling, they are lying. Now it seems silly to be upset about politicians lying to score political points. But this situation is different from the standard worthless craps politicians fight over. What is happening to us because of our energy policy is, IMHO, the most dangerous thing this country has faced since WWII. And what we need is leadership from our leaders and honesty and a willingness to do what it takes to begin correcting this situation as soon as possible, not a bunch of f-ing lies on Sunday morning talk shows.

One more lie they spread is that opening up areas like shale in Colorado and our coast to drilling would not effect the price of oil for at least 5 years. First, if you weigh 400 pounds and it will take several years to get down to a healthy weight, do you blow it off because it will take a long time or do you get started as soon as possible. However the reason it is lie is because of the cost oil is a factor of where supply and demand is trending, not just where supply and demand is currently. So while it could be several years ( I think it would earlier if oil companies could see significant profit by doing it) before it would effect the current supply and demand equation, the potential of another 2 to 3 billions barrels a day added to supply would effect the current speculation market that accounts for up to 40% of the price of a barrel. So simply passing the legislation will effect the predicted supply and demand equation. Thus immediately effecting the price of oil and therefore the price of Gas. Please Congress get off your soap box and do the right thing for the American people. When low income families have to chose between going to work and putting food on their tables, lying to score political points is... well criminal at best!

If your planning to Vote for Obama

If you are planning to Vote for Obama I have two things I want you to consider.

First is a little story. For the last couple of weeks it's been wheat harvest time here in Oklahoma. A very exciting time for the state, record rains, record crops and record prices has many farmers very excited. However a friend of mine(Susan) went up to Enid Ok to help her 74 year old father bring in his 400 acres. The Grandfather Worked very hard but eventually developed a lot of pain in his knee which swelled to the size of a grapefruit. So Susan called his doctor but the Doctor couldn't see him for at leat 30 days and he should go to the emergency room if he needed immediate care. so he passed on medical care for his swollen knee and kept working to bring in the harvest. You hear about this kind of thing in Russia, Canada or Britian with their poorly managed Gov't health care but never have I heard of this in America. When I asked how this could be she explained how he is on Medicare or Medicaid and that is very normal thing with this system. WOW, welcome to Obama's vision for America!!!

Finally, how much do you like Gov't interference in your life. Like what kind of clothes you were or what kind of food you like. If you think that Gov't interference in your life would make it more sucky then I suggest you check out how our good friends in the Democratic party are handling thier convention. All kinds of rules and controls around the food allowed to eat, and what kind of coth is used in give away bags and the list goes on and on and on and on and on and on.... Ask yourself, is that what you want for America and your life!!!


THURSDAY'S GREGALOGUE: THE NEW PATRIOTISM
As the Democrats prepare for their National Convention in Denver, what do you think concerns them most? Party unity after a fractious primary season? Articulating Obama`s plan for fighting terror? Or, maybe dealing with the oil crisis without relying on windmills? No. No and no. Their big worries are fried foods, organic cotton and biodegradable utensils. In that order.



That`s right – instead of coming up with a blueprint for all this change we keep hearing about, they`re worried about whether the 15,000 fanny packs belonging to convention volunteers are made of organic cotton.



And herein likes the joys of being politically correct. Instead of focusing on improving the country, you become obsessed with improving your image. I mean – forget Iran. What about those goat-cheese won tons served to the delegates? Are they organic? Union made? Grown locally? And that caramel sauce better not have been trucked in from Canada. Think of the emissions! And I certainly hope that duck sauce came from a free range duck.



In the desire to create the greenest political convention ever, the Democrats expose the party`s two main weaknesses – no sense of proportion, and no order of priorities. The fact is, the number one concern in America is not tofu – it`s terror. It`s not compost, it`s caliphates. It`s not sauce, it`s security. For the Democrats, this green obsession is the new patriotism – because – unlike old patriotism you don`t need to love your country – you just need to hate anyone who lacks a Prius. It`s easy and it feels good – like a sensual massage. But without the happy ending.



And if you disagree with me, may your first born have a tail.

Obama, Apparently Change we can believe in is to change into McCain

http://www.dailygut.com/index.php?i=3841

Following this presidential campaign is like watching a friend of yours dump a psychotic, potentially homicidal girlfriend. In this case Obama is the friend, and the crazy soon-to-be ex is the left. In the beginning, Obama could indulge the crazies over at the Huffington Post and Move On.org, simply because, back then, the rest of America didn`t know who he was. He could be every bit as loopy as they are because the saner folk were too busy working real jobs. But now that he has the nomination, he can drop the Wesley Clark`s of the world like a chlamydia-infested potato. Suddenly among the normal, Obama can no longer hold onto those nutty beliefs - which means, he must turn right. I predicted this months ago the Democrats know you can`t run left because you`ll lose which is funny, when you think about it. The only way your party can win, is to abandon your party`s beliefs. See for yourself: Obama has flipped on the death penalty and thinks guns are peachy. He's accepted the foreign surveillance act and he's no longer entertaining high tea with Ahmadinejad. Now he`s up for expanding President Bush's faith-based programs, and blasted Moveon.org for calling General Petraeus a traitor. His crazy ex-girlfriend must be cutting up his underwear. But it`s not over yet. You wait until Obama returns from Iraq speaking of the brave troops, how violence has decreased and that the surge is working and how, in effect, we are winning the war. At this point he will embrace the phrase his lefty brethren mocked so well, which is "stay the course," and ultimately acknowledge that the whole thing might have been worth it after all. Once he abandons his idiotic stance on capital gains, the makeover will be complete. So sit back and enjoy it, as the unbalanced ex-girlfriend roils in her basement apartment, blogging about her heartbreak to her loathsome friends, as the rest of us realize that Obama isn`t running against McCain, he`s turning into him. And if you disagree with me, then you`re worse than Eric Alterman.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Energy plan

Hillary got beat up pretty bad by Obama over her pandering use of the Gas Tax Moratorium. It was silly because it had no chance of passing, and the leglslation to make sure the cost would be paid for had no chance of passing either. So it was obviously an act of pandering, however I did find one argument distressing. It's not a long term solution to the problem. Well no shit Sherlock!!!

She never said it was. In fact all the candidates claim to have a long term plan to our energy woes and we are heavy on the woe side with it only getting more woey every day!.

so what should be done. EVERYTHING!!! The great thing about Hillary and the Obama plan is it focuses on the decreasing demand. And we very much need to be doing everything we can to reduce the demand, especially on foreign oil,, i.e. making women abusing, christian killing Muslim crazies even richer then they already are. However it is extremely weak on the supply side. The nice thing about John McCains is it tries to improve the supply side. This is also very important. And this is the problem with politics. People pick a side and think their is no value on the other side. We are not going to solve this problem if we do not attack the issue from the supply and demand side. Recently I heard an argument that we shouldn't drill for oil in anwar because it is 10 years away from producing oil. Really!!! Well if we had started drilling there when we wanted to then it would be already be producing oil and helping us out. So get started, every time we sit around and wring our hands and cry in out lattes about what horrible thing might happen, we delay solving this problem. and it needs to be solved, bad!!!!

Here is why, all war and conflict between groups of people are about control of a resource needed for that society. We can say Iraq is not about oil but the truth is we wanted give a flying crap about that area if they didn't have oil. They would just be another Darfur or Kenya. However as India, China and to a certain extent Russia continue to grow their economic abilities, they also grow their middle class. What does the middle class like, warm houses, lots of meat and cars to get to work in. All that requires more and more energy. If we don't solve this problem, we are headed to war with these countries.

Here is what we need. We need meaningful alternatives to oil consumption. Nuclear energy, wind energy, Solar energy, Green bio fuels, A meaningful hybrid car, more drilling off the coast and in Anwar, more refineries, better stock choices for bio-fuels (No more corn based ethanol), and controls on commodities traders that drive up the cost of commodities.


Found at the Dailygut.com

May 1, 2008 12:29 PMTHURSDAY'S GREGALOGUE: FAST FOOD TAX
from The Daily Gut
I love my fast food as much as I hate big government. And now a slow-growth economy with rising food prices is causing idiot lawmakers to consider creating "sin taxes" on fast food. Color me engorged and enraged. The thought of taxing my taco came up at a New Jersey hospital meeting - it wasGov. Jon S. Corzine who brought it up. At the meeting, he called it a "constructive suggestion." Never trust a man named Jon without an "h." This idea blows. The fact is, people who eat fast food aren`t rich. So tax a burger, you tax the poor. Worse is the underlying sense of self-righteousness - that because you shouldn`t be eating this crud anyway, these dipwads are going to punish you for it. look, It`s not up to anyone but my mom to tell me what`s bad to eat - even if it's my own body hair. That's my right. Instead they should tax tofu and granola -if only because vegetarians are Nazis. See Hitler. So what`s the answer to our rising food costs? It ain't drilling my wallet. It`s drilling, period. Bush is right - Congress has failed to pass bills that expand oil exploration and create refineries that would boost crude oil production. That would cut prices across the board. And instead of embracing nuclear energy - we`re stupidly focusing on idiotic corn-driven biofuels, ethanol - which takes real food out of real mouths. It's so stupid, it makes me want to kill. Instead however, I`m going to McDonalds and have a quarter pounder special. Do you know what that is? It's when I take the burger and put it in a blender. And then I inject it straight into my armpit. It`s better than sex, people. And if you disagree with me, then you sir are worse than Moby.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hillary or Obama, who has the most votes.

Recently Hillary claimed that she had the most votes cast for her and Obama claimed the same thing. The answer of course is what is the definition of a vote and whose vote do you count. If you do not include states that use Caucuses and include Florida and Michigan then Hillary has a wide margin, if you include Caucuses then she has a very thin margin. However, if you count the votes that are counted by the DNC to determine delegates then Obama is ahead. One thing to note, most caucus states do not keep accurate records so that vote is not very accurate.

This brings me to my point. Michigan and Florida need to be part of this process. Every vote should count. I'm not a big fan of Hillary and I don't really hope she wins the nomination but I am a big fan of democracy and voting. To ignore Florida and Michigan and exclude them from this process is a disgrace to a party that 8 years ago cried about how horrible not counting votes are.

Here is the best description of my thoughts on Obama are: Found over at the dailygut.com

As the democratic primary season drags on, we know the show by heart. It's experience vs. change. But I can't believe I'm about to do this - I`m going to defend Hillary Clinton. Why? Because when the New York Times viciously attacks someone in an editorial - that means that person must be doing something right. It's the enemy of my enemy theory that works in politics as well as the salad bar at the Olive Garden. Here's the bottom line. Barack Obama is about change. But what is that change? It's not substance, it's style. Fact is, not a single idea Barack has bandied about is new - he's every bit as liberal as Ted Kennedy on a bender- and his ideology is in lockstep with the most disastrous progressive thinking of the last 20 years. Meaning, Obama is praising stuff that doesn't work and never has. Hilary knows this, but has no idea how to explain it without the Obamites coming down on her.So she's screwed. She might actually be a fairly mediocre president, but it's not going to happen, because she's the old crone at Cinderella's ball. And it's Obama's foot that fits the slipper. This is not to say Barack doesn't believe in change.For him, change means "pick me." And that's it. There are no revolutionary ideas, or inspirational thoughts. He`s just an extremely charming man who wants to be president. Is that enough? Please let me know. I'll be out back tending to my roses. They cover the graves.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Expelled

I got talked into seeing Expelled last night, This is the right wing response to the Michael Moore approach to propaganda. Let me say that Ben Stein has out Michael Moored the left. I generally didn't want to go see this but I'm now very glad I did. It was very, very thought provoking.

The premise is that the University systems and science in general is suppressing meaningful dialogue about Evolution as a scientific theory. There are holes in the theory that are not explained and most scientist would agree. However, not a lot of them think Intelligent Design has a shot at filling those. So why the suppression if ID as a solution.

This is where the movie got interesting. He says it's not about the science or lack there of, it's pretty clear that it's about religion and a world view. That this is just one of the battle grounds on going around two opposing world views. One where there is a morality, there is good and evil and a God who set it all up. And there is the world view where there isn't any of that, it's all happening by accident and chance. Good and evil are what we decide. He then shows the cultures that fully embraced that world view and where it led. Russia and Nazi Germany. That was very powerful, he showed how using Darwin, Nazi's used it to justify Euthanasia and Genocide.

Very powerful stuff, I was impressed. It was sobering.

Friday, April 4, 2008

New Anti war movie bombs, Keeping doing the same thing over and over. Expect the same results

The new stop loss movie is one more item on the growing list of anti war movies dieing at the box office. When is Hollywood going to join the rest of America in not hating our military.

I found this over at the Dailygut.com

TUESDAY'S GREGALOGUE: STOP-LOSS

So the new anti-war film Stop-Loss took in about twelve bucks on it's opening weekend. I haven't seen it - as you know my weekends are jammed with massage therapy and community service. But I know it's a movie about a soldier whose service is involuntarily extended in a war that's unpopular among people who eat at Spago.

And it does what Hollywood does best: be predictable. I mean, this is not a movie about a soldier who wants to fight. That reeks of patriotism, which kills your chances of Tim Robbins, or his mom Susan, talking to you at a cocktail party.

So whose fault is it for the film's failure? According to someone at Paramount: "It's a function of the marketplace not being ready to address this conflict in a dramatic way because the war itself is something that's unresolved yet." Meaning, Paramount already thinks the war is lost. But because you don't, you're too dumb to enjoy the picture.

You gotta admire that gumption: it's the audiences fault when a picture doesn't connect. However, when Paris Hilton's film flopped, you didn't hear that kind of assessment.

Look - we don't need war movies to remind us that war is bad - we know that. Plus, mainstream media is already doing a bang up job ramming home that idea - even to the point of ignoring good or encouraging news about the conflict.

But I guess what bothers me most about the flick is being lectured by people who are fundamentally more flawed than the rest of us. Really, is the act of stop-loss worse, on a personal level, than cheating on your wife and mother of your two kids - with your saucy little costar? I'd ask Ryan Philippe that, but I'm already over him. He's no Orlando Bloom.

And if you disagree with me, then you sir are worse than Hitler.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Number one issue we care about - "Bull Shit"

I hear all the time about how the American Public only cares about "Bullshit" and who is screwing who, like Rev Wright, Monica Lewinski or the sniper fire in Bosnia or lack there of.

Here is why we do care about "Bullshit". When the candidates talk seriously about issues we think --- I don't believe an f---ing word. We have heard all the lies before. The president is not a king who can do anything he wants. The president responds to National issues and tries to set the national agenda. He does not do a lot law crafting and can only approve or veto the budget. He can propose laws all day but they are always modified by the House and Senate. 99% of the things said on a campaign trail is designed to sound like something I want to hear while not pissing off too many people. It's all manufactured and carefully crafted. It's all dishonest!

So we are looking at the fringe of what they have been up to in the past to try and gleam who the person is really. Not what is the carefully crafted image we see all the time. But who is the person really. How do they really feel and how will they really react to a 9/11 or a pearl harbor or a mortgage crisis. The only way we have to discover who the person is really is find out what they are up to behind the scenes when the camera is off and they think no one will find out. And that is often sordid and awful. It's often about people they surrond themselves with.

What choice do we have when no one is really honest about who they are? When you can't trust anything a politician says, we are left with inuendo and accusations.

Mark

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Whale Explodes! Shop Keeper waters it!



A 56 ft, 60 ton beached while dies in Taiwan. During the transfer for autopsy purposes gas builds up and the Whale "explodes". The following are pictures of the event. My favorite picture is the Shop Keeper in his surgical mask and one glove pouring a ridiculously small stream of water on this giant mound of rotting whale guts. I love this guy because he is trying to make a difference. Instead of complaining or calling the Gov't to fix his problems. He gets out a water house, a glove (I can't get over that single glove) and a mask and begins to spray water on it. How long does a small stream of water take to move a few tons of whale guts into sewers of Taiwan?? I can't tell if this is the bravest man I've seen in a long time or one of the dumbest. Maybe there isn't much of a difference!!!




This man doesn't curse the darkness, he lights a candle! Of course there also happens to be a hurricane going on at the same time.



How would you like to be the owner of the scooter and explaining this event to your insurance company. I really wanted to photoshop out the picture of the whale and change the blog title to "Man on Scooter Explodes!!!!". Now that would be cool!!!

Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama

Pastor Wright is the person who lead Obama to his Christian faith, the person who was his spiritual leader for 20 years, the person who married him and his wife and baptized his two children. Pastor Wright also said things from the pulpit like "God Damn America for all the things it does," or "America created the AIDS virus to kill people of color" or "America deserved 9/11" and a whole host of crazy things you can see on you tube.

So what does this mean. Obama admits he does not have the experience that Clinton or McCain has but that he has the better judgment and that is what being president is all about. I'm wondering how effective his judgment is to send his children to this Church every Sunday. It's one thing to join the biggest church in the area, especially if you are running for office. It's another thing to send your children to a place where hate against America is promoted from the pulpit and cheered for in the audience. Maybe every Sunday they don't bash America, however, the fundamental underpinnings of this kind of thought is taught there every day. So I'm left with two options here, Barack Obama has poor judgment when it comes to caring for his children's spiritual well being or the political value of that church comes before his families spiritual well being. Either way, not a guy I'm liking much right now.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Florida and Michagan

There is a lot of talk about what to do about the fact that Florida and Michigan are not allowed to seat delegates in the Democratic Convention. Basically the State's of Florida and Michigan moved their Primaries up to a date that was not allowed by Democratic and Republican National Committee rules. So the Democrats disallowed the states delegates from having a voice in the convention and the Republicans allow the delegates to vote but cut the number of delegates to half. Sounds like the Republicans are acting like adults here. The democrats also requested the candidates to take their names off the ballots in the offending states and to not campaign there. Every one did that in Michagan except for Hillary and the other learned their lesson in Florida and kept their name. No one campaigned in Florida for the Dems.

So what should we do. Should we follow the rules set forth when the election began and ignore Michigan and Florida. Should we say no, all people who want to vote should have the right to vote and their vote should count. This in many ways is a lot like Florida in 2000. In that instance I felt the right thing was to follow the laws as set out originally and end the election. Here I feel differently. What is the difference. Well the people of Florida got to vote in 2000, and the official count of the vote was used to decide who the president was. They voted, it was counted and the results were what they were. In this situation, all votes are being thrown out. Their is a time to follow the rules and their is a time to fight those rules. When people begin discounting votes a whole state, then it's time to fight those rules and see them changed.

I also want to talk about the 2000 election. I find the anger of Democrats over the 2000 florida incident an embarrassment. Was it awful, yes. Why was it awful, it was the Democrats. Here is why I have a problem with it. When the vote was so close, there should have been a recount. And Al Gore and the Democratic National Committee had a chance to do the right thing and ask for a complete state wide recount. But they didn't. In an effort to ignore the will of the whole state, the Dems cherry picked the three most democratic counties in the state and asked for a recount there only. Dade County then proceeded to recount only the Democratic precints. When it was obvious to the Dade county Officials that more counting would actually increase Bush's lead, they quit their count. The Dems also tried to have the absentee voting thrown out because absentee voters tend to be mostly military and they tend to vote republican.

After the 2 and 1/2 counties were counted, the time to request a recount expired and Bush's lead had grown. According to state law, the vote was certified. Then the Dem's sued. Eventually the Florida Supreme Court got involved and decided unwisely to have another recount but wisely insisted that it be state wide. Which is what it should have been from the beginning. However, the law had been followed, the votes has been allowed, counted and delegates assigned according to that law.

For me the difference was that there was a good faith effort to cast and count the votes in 2000. In 2008 there is an actual democratic policy that throws out all the votes of two of our most important states. One did unintentionally miscount or possibly cause the intent of the voter to not be understood but that was purely unintentional and it effected the votes of a small minority. Here it is intentional and it effects all Dems in the two states

I also want to say the manipulation of a national election for president being forced down to a recount of three Heavily Democratic counties in Florida was the worst, ugleist, most machivelian, tainted politically move I've ever seen in my life. Worse than Nixon and watergate, worse than Reagan and Iran/Contra and worse than the Monica Lewinsky tragedy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Change We need to understand II

Another Excerpt from Mr. Obama's speech:

We're here because of the mother in San Antonio that I met just today, just this afternoon. She's got 2-year-old twins who are legally blind. She somehow entered into a predatory loan and saw her mortgage payments double in two weeks and has paid thousands in fees to try to stave off foreclosure.

She told me she was on the verge of packing and didn't know where her family would go next. She needed us to crack down on predatory lenders and give relief to struggling homeowners who were tricked out of their dream. She needs change today.



It's nice to see that Mr. Obama is only motivated by altruism and he decided to run for president because of a chance meeting with a complete stranger who gave him a sob story about losing her house. It's hard to believe his motivation for running for president is a serious of chance meetings with young single mothers who are down on their luck. I'm also wondering what a married father of two is doing hanging out with random single parents who are down on their luck. (sorry about that but I took a page or the New York times "reporting style" there)

So what is the action Mr. Obama is suggesting here. "She needed us to crack down on predatory lenders ". Interesting dilemma here. As far as I know sub prime mortgages are legal and have been for some time. They are not a great idea unless you plan to refinance your house before the high interest rate comes around, that is why you don't ever take one with a high penalty for early payment. So if I read this right, Mr Obama wants to take legal action against a company that did not break any law.

This is my problem with Mr Obama and liberals in general. They think all injustice must be righted by the Gov't. Instead let free enterprise and capitalism takes it's course. If anyone is paying attention, these predators are quickly going out of business and the idiots who bought these loans are losing money hand over fist. I would be very surprised if any Loan purchasing company will ever buy a mortgage like this that was given to someone with bad credit. If they do, then they should go out of business. But not to jail unless we want to make those kind of loans illegal. Then once it is illegal, all loans after that should be prosecuted. But prosecuting organization that gave out those loans in a legal manner, hmmmm....


Then he suggests we should provide relief. What is relief. Hillary wants a moratorium on foreclosures. So now they can stay in their house for another 6 months to a year with out paying rent. What happens after that? IF they can't afford their loan then what is going to change. Should we now pay the rent of anyone who didn't understand what they were getting into and can't afford their house. That sounds good to me. There is a $750,000 house I've got my eye on. I can't afford it but maybe they will give me a sub prime loan and in a few years I can't get the Gov't to pay for my mortgage. It's painful but it's time people took responsibility for their actions. Being Tricked is a poor excuse. There are tons of documents you are strongly encouraged to read before signing and tons of information on the Net and lots of advice you can get. This is one of life's little lessons that people need to learn from. Be careful when you get a loan or buy a house. Understand what your obligation is under the law.

Barrack is promising change. However, I don't see how keeping people from suffering from their mistakes is change from what the Liberal Democrats have been promising for years. However, to prosecute someone for a law that was made after the person committed the crime would need a change to the constitution. That is against the Constitution. So that is change, I don't think it's a change I want.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Change We need to Understand

Barack Obama is promising Change. I do believe things need to change but I'm not convinced his kind of "Change" is what we need. So I got hold of a transcript of one his local speeches and I'm going to analyze it.

Excerpt
We're here because there are workers in Youngstown, Ohio, who've watched job after job after job disappear because of bad trade deals like NAFTA, who've worked in factories -- who've worked in factories for 20 years, and then one day they come in and literally see the equipment unbolted from the floor and sent to China.

They need us to end those tax breaks that go to companies that ship jobs overseas...

(APPLAUSE)

... and give them to companies that invest in jobs right here in the United States of America, that pay well, provide a pension, provide health care. That's the change they need.


I'm not sure how NAFTA (A free trade agreement between US, Canada and Mexico) sent equipment and jobs to China? I thought that was a cheap shot. I would agree we need better protectionist legislation with China but not Canada or Mexico. However, lets be clear, Free trade did not send jobs to China. Cheaper wages, lower taxes and significantly decrease in operating costs sent those jobs to China. Why is it so expensive here, well that is easy, Labor Unions, Outrageous amounts of legislation, unfreindly tax systems and lets not forget the squeeze Insurance Companies and lawyers put on operating costs here in the US. So the Change is ignore the real problem which is friendly to the Democratic Party. So honesty when it actually hurts is not one of the changes we will be looking forward to.

Secondly, I really hate Income Tax. Not because I don't want the gov't getting money. I want to pay taxes and get the benefits of those taxes. The problem I have is the gov't deciding how I should live my life or run my business. They do this by creating tax incentives and tax punishments. Why does someone that buys a house have the right to lower taxes. Why is that the Gov't business. Or if someone decides to offer benefits and a pension, why does the Gov't have to get in that person's business. Stop manipulating society through the tax code and let it be what it needs to be.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Where does hope come from

I've been reading a blog called "Attitude of Gratitude". It's a beautiful blog. It's honesty is a wonderful thing to experience. His art is pretty impressive.

http://sippiambrose.blogspot.com/

He asked the question "Where does hope come from". That is a powerful question. One I want to explore. First lets talk about the difference between wishing and hope.

One day two men were golfing. One we Dr. John Townsend. One told there other that he hoped to marry his current girlfriend. This confused Dr Townsend because it is quite easy to get married. So he asked him why hasn't he already married him after 5 years of dating. Well the woman was quite controlling. So Dr. Townsend asked him how controlling. The man shared some very horrifying stories of a very controlling person. So Dr. Townsend asked the man about what the couple and the woman was doing to change this behavior. The answer was nothing. So Dr. Townsends said this man was not hoping for a change in behavior, he was wishing for it.

The point here is that hope, real hope is based on getting connected to the reality of their experiences. If we look at the 12 steps we see the first set of steps is connecting to the reality of their situation. Realizing that all the lies they told themselves is hurting them and justifying all the bad things they do to themselves and others. The first step to hope is feeling bad about the horrible thing you do. But feeling bad is the act of killing that part of you. It must be grieved and let go. But to make through "the valley of the shadow of death" the grief process we must have a vision of what it will be like. That begins with people who have made it. We borrow the experiences of others and set our sites on those. The seeds of hope come from those with the 6 month's of Sobriety, or 12 months or 5 years or even 20 years. When those lost in hopelessness and pain can see someone who has made it out and living a life worth living, the seeds of hope are planted.

But the seeds have to grow and that comes from working the program and experiencing the change in their lives. Seeing and experiencing relationships that are honest and caring at the same time. Seeing the change that those relationships bring. Knowing that those relationships that they have, have also been where they were. It's the love and honesty from those people that is the water and light that feed the seeds of hope. Every new day spent away from the Drink or drugs or food or meaningless sex is the act that strengthens our hope. Every small step away from the horror of that past life builds our hope.

I met with a friend several weeks ago and she was depressed. A horrible marriage, a bitter custody fight ongoing with a previous marriage, Her mother recently passed and he father knocking on deaths door and poor physical health had her with out hope. We met over coffee and talked. My advice to her was find a reason to hope again. Find a reason to live. She met with her brother and he encouraged her to move in with her Dad and help him in the final stages of his life. She called me that next day, bright eyed and hopefully. She had a way out and a way to rebuild her life. She also had someone to care about. This is where so much of our life's meaning and purpose come from. Caring about others. When we care about others we find purpose. We find meaning. I think this is an important place to find hope. When we have a purpose in this life, we have something to hope for.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

West Virginia

West Virgina is a Caucus. That is where people go and sit in a room and stand or sit by the table of the candidate of their choice. Then they go through several round of showing support for a candidate. If the candidate is not viable then the people supporting that candidate has to pick another or leave. There are several rounds of voting before the final count is taken and then that person won that area.

On Super Tuesday, in the first round Mitt Romney won West Virgina with Huckabee second and McCain third. Instead of continuing to vote for McCain in later voting rounds and giving the state to Romney, the McCain voters switched sides to Huckabee. Giving Huckabee the win in the state.

Friday, February 1, 2008

McCain

McCain seems to be building a contigency that will get him the nomination. With Rudy stepping out that is very useful for him in moderate states like CA and NY. With Hackabee staying in then conservatives will continue to be split between Huckabee and Romney. I would be very surpised if there are not postions in the McCain presidency for Rudy and Huckabee. It's funny, I heard so many political pundits talking about how fractured the Republicans are and how united the Dems are. Now it seems the division between the Dems is increasing with the nastiness between Billary and Obama. While the Republicans are beginning to circle the wagons around McCain. The Govanator just threw his support behind McCain and the Governor of Texas is supposed to do it today, if he has not already. Things are looking good for McCain. But can he be president. I think he has a good shot against Hillary but maybe not so much with Obama. We will have to wait and see.




Is there any media bias in covering stories


Look at this and tell me what you think?











Friday, January 25, 2008

Influence

A friend was talking recently about how things influence our lives. the long term impact of our choices are impossible for us to envision or hope to fully understand. Here is a powerful story of how a simple thing like speed bumps in an area can profoundly effect the quality of life for all people in the neighborhood.

source:
http://www.exampler.com/blog/2007/11/03/latour-2-ant-and-the-building-of-the-social/

In the US, we call these “speed bumps.” In other parts of the world, they’re called “sleeping policemen.” (The model pictured is a Rediweld Sitecop sleeping policeman.)
Through a different mechanism, the sleeping policeman has the same social effect as a human policeman: slower cars and an environment matching collective preferences.
We can take this a step further. Consider neighborhoods. Many sociologists might explain the existence of neighborhoods by appealing to powerful abstract forces like power, class, or racism. An ANT explanation, by contrast, might start with speed bumps.
Consider a car as an “actor” that can affect—push on, act as a force upon—other actors, specifically children. Speeding cars are a danger to children, and they affect their behavior. Children aren’t allowed to play near streets where cars travel fast.
Now suppose speed bumps are put up across those streets. The speed bumps mediate or “translate” the effect of cars on children. The cars become less dangerous. Parents (another set of actors) are more likely to allow children to play outside. As many parents know, children who are playing together outside soon invade houses in packs. Parents come to know the nearby children. And, inevitably, they come to know those childrens’ parents. They begin trading favors like driving children around. They become neighborly.
Now, speed bumps by themselves don’t create a neighborhood, but there are lots of other physical objects that have similar effects, and they keep having these effects, day in and day out. The continual recurrence (”circulation”) of all these forces, all these actors affecting other actors, is (according to ANT) a sufficient explanation for the “assembly” of a neighborhood. We don’t need to bring abstractions like power into the equation.