Three Years of Hate - A Review
1 hour ago
Snow said [Bush's] measures are not a bailout for the mortgage industry because they are aimed at helping borrowers pay off loans.Loans....to the mortgage industry by any chance?
Besides, it's not really the science that bothers him. Vox understands that scientific claims are always tentative, always subject to review/modification/rejection in the light of new findings...No, what gets Vox exercised is the uses to which the 'evolutionists' he knows about put that model. And that usage is clearly atheism.And as Vox responds, there are actually three such uses that get under his skin: atheism, socialism, and eugenics.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Around the world, a handful of scientists are trying to create life from scratch and they're getting closer.What is most interesting to note is that the first named application of this science is purely religious, that of determining humanity's place and role in the universe. And while I doubt seriously that it would do that, at least for me**, it is of interest that the scientists who are using material forces to (intelligently, I chortle) design life fully expect their work to answer non-material questions that lie at the heart of the traditional spiritual inquiry that nearly defines religion.
Experts expect an announcement within three to 10 years from someone in the now little-known field of "wet artificial life."
"It's going to be a big deal and everybody's going to know about it," said Mark Bedau, chief operating officer of ProtoLife of Venice, Italy, one of those in the race....
"Creating protocells has the potential to shed new life (sic) on our place in the universe," Bedau said. "This will remove one of the few fundamental mysteries about creation in the universe and our role."
Bedau said there are legitimate worries about creating life that could "run amok," but there are ways of addressing it, and it will be a very long time before that is a problem."Never in our imagination" seems like a very dangerous position for those who are in practice trying to think the thoughts of God after him to take. After all, in how many imaginations could housing prices go no direction but up?
"When these things are created, they're going to be so weak, it'll be a huge achievement if you can keep them alive for an hour in the lab," he said. "But them getting out and taking over, never in our imagination could this happen."
There are a number of deflationary factors behind my campaign to get the Fed to permanently inject new cash into the banking system and deal with the dysfunctional commercial paper market — as well as the general credit freeze-up.In Larry's favor, he probably actually understates his case in regards to housing prices falling, as Mish (from whom I also stole that beautiful graphic of State Street's bond portfolio investment model) explains. However, as we will see below, that's the closest he comes to being honest in this whole article.
There’s housing price deflation: The Case/Shiller home-price index is off 3.5 percent over the past year.
There’s commodity deflation: Gold prices are off nearly 15 percent from their 2006 highs. Stock prices for materials are off nearly 13 percent since July 19, while metal and mining shares are off 16 percent.Note how he sneaks in the word 'highs' here. Yes, gold is off 15% from the spike high that occurred last year. But it is above where it was exactly a year ago (by 8%) and also above where it began this year. So gold is up both this year and in the past year, and has more than doubled in 5 years, and yet Kudlow is trying to make that look deflationary. It could just as easily* be argued that it is representative of inflation.
There’s the deflation of loan values, both CDOs and CLOs.Which, in a nutshell, is the ENTIRE FREAKING PROBLEM in the credit markets, represented by the yellow part of Mish's chart, and there is nothing, not one single thing, the Fed can do to fix that. The world has realized they've chomped down on a big steaming shit sandwich cooked up by Kudlow's friends in the US banking industry, and all the monetary pepper in the world won't make them take another.
And there’s the deflation of the Treasury bill rate from 5 percent to 4 percent.Once we get out of the Roach Motel investments that are blowing up all over the world and get back to treasuries, Ludlow switches tactics on us. Where before he was talking about values, he now says we have a deflation in rates. But you know what? Rates and values move inversely, which means the values of treasury bills and bonds are inflating, going up, becoming worth more. Well, that's inconvenient.
The Fed needs to stop this deflation by pouring in new cash.In short, Kudlow, like Bill Gross, like Jim Cramer, so many other captains of capitalism (not to be confused with Captain Capitalism) absolutely love the free market until they start to lose money. Then they want the government to step in and save their bacon by creating a bunch of money from nothing and loaning it to them at submarket** rates. It is simply socialism for the rich, a way that they can play all day long with other people's money, making a killing in fees and options while shuffling the risks off to the taxpayers. Such is the dry rot ubiquitous to late-stage capitalism.
Fort Scott also was the target of a grand jury investigation sought by a group called the Citizens' Action Committee.As a former spokesman for the AG's office, and as a guy whose wife sat on that grand jury, I can doubly assure the mayor that that was an exceptionally stupid thing to say. Pig dribble stupid. Apparently Ottawa's city attorney agrees, as according to today's Fort Scott paper:
The group accused city officials, including [former Fort Scott city manager Richard] Nienstedt, of a variety of misdeeds including misusing, mishandling and not tracking funds, and ignoring open meetings and records laws.
The group got enough signatures to convene a grand jury about two years ago and it issued a few indictments, [Ottawa Mayor Blake] Jorgensen said. The Kansas Attorney General's office ruled the indictments were without merit and rejected them, he said.
Ottawa officials investigated the situation thoroughly, which Jorgensen characterized as an inquisition.
Ottawa City Attorney Bob Bezek Jr. said Monday that neither the mayor nor anyone else from the city said that. "That's not right," Bezek said.So the question on the table is not whether the city of Ottawa has just thrown itself the biggest surprise party you can imagine*, but what we are to make of the quote that was but is no longer.
Omaha, NE - A major Omaha road may be shut down this weekend by Nazis...I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but one major difference between news in the paper and news online is that online stories are absolutely filled with stupid typographical errors. The National Socialists in Omaha are not Arians. In fact, I doubt they have any opinion on consubstantiation at all. They are not within "there" rights, but their rights. And I may be wrong - after all, I don't do this for a living - but I always thought 'self-described' was hyphenated. I noticed the same kinds of things last night in this article on the Greyhounds' victory over Navarro on Saturday. Clue 1: "It's" is not a possessive. Clue 2: when you use a possessive on a plural, the apostrophe goes after the s. Clue 3: you do not need to explain or introduce a quote using exactly the same words contained in the quote. I don't mean to pick on Fort Scott's sports editor (any relation, Jozum?) but if you did to a person what he does to the language, it would be a felony.
"I have seen every kind of demonstration from pro to totally contrary so they are totally within there right to do it," says Consul Jose Luis Cuevas...
Illegal immigration threatens the self described Nazi group's main goal.
"The preservation and the promotion of the white Arian Caucasian people," says Bishop.
... the Bible makes so many other scientific claims that, by [Creationalist] logic, should also be taught in public schools.The reason that this is such a fine straw man is that it stuffs just enough truth in this scarecrow to get the non-Bible reader hooked. The Bible does say that God confounded the original, single human language at Babe, but it doesn't say the result was "all the languages in the world including modern English." Obviously, at the time of the episode (let's say 5 millennia ago) or even at the time Moses included it in his new bestseller (3+ millennia ago) there was no English. What the Bible does not say but which can be reasonably concluded by those who take Babel as an historical episode (as I do) is that the process begun at Babel did not end there. To insist that a literalist ought to believe that English is a static remnant of Babel is a straw man.
For example, consider the claim that certain languages have a common origin. According to the Book of Genesis, God created all of the languages in the world during that fracas at the Tower of Babel. So why do we allow linguists to lead our young people astray by talking about the Latin roots of certain English words?
Also this: Genesis 1:16 claims that the moon gives off light. The passage reads, “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.”And we still say, Over in the bushes and off to the right, two men talkin' in the pale moon light. Sheriff John Brady and Deputy Hedge, haulin' two limp bodies down to the water's edge.
The Bible has much more to teach us about science, history and even math. Did you know, for example, that pi equals three? Why aren’t we teaching this controversy?The conundrum of Hiram's bowl (1Kings 7:23) reads like this:
And [Hiram] made a molten bowl, ten cubits from the one brim to the other. It was round all about and five cubits high. A line of thirty cubits compassed it round about.So here was have a circle with a diameter of 10 and a circumference of 30, which proves that the Bible claims pi = 3 when we know it's 3.14159 and something.
The poor old Scandinavian moose is now being blamed for climate change, with researchers in Norway claiming that a grown moose can produce 2,100 kilos of methane a year -- equivalent to the CO2 output resulting from a 13,000 kilometer car journey...through its belching and farting.Norway has some 135,000 moose (not meese or meeses*), which according to my napkin math collectively produce nearly 300 million kilos of methane a year. Sure, that's a lot of bic lighters**, but it's nothing compared to the tundra wind produced by Siberia's wooly mammoth.
With the markets so volatile, many investors might be tempted to head for the exits. But in these nervous times, there are smart moves you can make to protect your portfolio.What follows is not trading advice, of course. It is incumbent upon you to do your own due diligence. I just want to lay out here what I think the near future holds and what *I* personally am doing about it. It will be a rambling post, because there's a lot to cover, but I don't want to make this a "market blog," even though I'll admit to spending an inordinate amount of time watching the markets recently. I have a real feeling this could be a once-in-a-generation event and I'm loth to miss it.
CNBC.com asked the experts what they would buy--and sell--in this type of environment. Here's what they're telling us.
Buy: Consumer Electronics
Marc Pado, chief market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald, says technology-related industries such as software and consumer electronics should do well as corporate spending usually picks up in the fourth quarter. He also believes retailers could be set for a rebound.
"I think we'll test the lows in the next few days," Pado says. "But the two key areas that do well in the fourth quarter are technology and consumer-sensitive areas like retail, which has been badly beaten because everyone has been worried about the consumer." ...
Sell: Homebuilders, Mortgage Lenders*
With the mortgage industry still in turmoil, "a reality check is coming back in for the homebuilders," says David Kotok, chief investment officer at Cumberland Advisors...
I will admit that it has made me sad, in the past fifteen or so years, to see so many pastors adopting the NIV in their teaching; for this has encouraged those being taught to rely upon this version. Once again, my personal feelings are that this has been caused mostly by the massive publishing campaign instituted by Zondervan Publishing. Now they are pushing the TNIV Bible, which some claim is gender neutral, but Zondervan claims is just bringing the Bible more up to date with the English language. I often wonder if God truly wants the Bible to be more English friendly. He did originally write it i[n] Aramaic and Greek, didn't He?Ignoring two minor problems with the above*, whether God truly wants the Bible to be presented in a language in which common people can read and understand it is a pretty important question, forming as it does the basis for argumentation against both the KJV-only position and, to a lesser extent, the Vulgate-only position promoted by the Catholic Church for centuries. It also underlies the question of whether the Bible should be translated at all - since languages never translate perfectly one to another, something of the original meaning is always lost in translation. In this sense the scriptures are no different than, say, the plays of Nabokov or the operas of Wagner.
True story.* I was actually going to explain why the Fed cutting the discount rate caused me to buy Nevsun warrants this morning, but ye allahs, how boring is that?
I was in grad school in Sydney, living on campus. There were two Danish guys in the dorm, Mike and Lasse, who had kept in contact with some Danish girls who were going to another university out in the sticks, around dairy and emu farms. Since I didn't have any family around, and had no money to fly home for the holidays, they were nice enough to invite me to their little Scandanavian Christmas.
Things started out great. I was the only non-Dane in the room, but everyone was so nice, I was really starting to feel welcome. Then they prepared the Gluck.
If you don't know what it is (as I didn't then), let me explain: Gluck is a traditional Danish holiday drink made from hot wine, but there are spices and nuts and rasins and shit in there too. I guess you have to have been raised on it, because I could barely choke it down. But since I was a guest, I did my best to smile and swallow. I drank entirely too much of it. ENTIRELY too much.
Later on that night, after everyone was a bit lopsided, the American bashing started. Not mean spirited, or anything, but needling just the same. You know, things like, "Why do you love war so much?", "Why are Americans so fat?", and "What makes you think cow tipping is so funny?"
I was trying, without much effort or success, to defend myself. I explained that I didn't think cow tipping was particularly funny, and that I had never actually been cow tipping. So of course Mike and Lasse start screaming, "Let's do it! I want to see an American tip a cow! That would be funny as hell!"
I said Fuck no, I'm not tipping a cow, but everyone was really into it, and Mike and Lasse said that they'd go with me and tip as well. In my drunken mindset, it started to make more and more sense to me, so I reluctantly said Okay.
So we went out into a field that has maybe six or seven cows in it, and Goddamn if Mike didn't pick out the fucking biggest cow. He said, "Tip that one. Just walk up to it an push it over." Are you fucking kidding me? The cow must have weighed 500 pounds. There was no way I was going to just push it over. I said as much to Lasse, and he said, "Okay, get a running start."
Well all right...that made much more sense...I got about 50 feet away from the cow and took off. I got up a good head of steam, and ducked my shoulder at the last minute for the best impact. I even aimed high for the best leverage possible.
Lessons learned from that experience:
1. Cows are fucking heavy.
2. Cows are fucking hard as rocks.
3. I am fucking stupid.
I just about fractured my clavicle, and the cow shuffled over about half a step and walked off, leaving my stupid, drunk ass whimpering in the mud. The rest of the cows woke up and sort of wandered off. Mike and Lasse were pissing themselves in laughter. I picked myself up off the ground and resigned myself to taking the walk of shame back into the house.
As we were walking back, we passed a Momma cow and her little calf. I don't know anything about animal husbandry, but I guess the calf was maybe a year old. Cutest little thing. Mike pushed the calf over. He didn't say anything, didn't look to Lasse or myself for approval, just suddenly pushed him over. And started laughing like a lunatic.
The Momma cow freaked out. She gave a scary ass cow scream, which I had never heard before and hope to God in heaven that I never hear again. Jesus Christ, I nearly shit myself. I had no idea that a cow could make a horror-movie scream like that. Then the cow charged. Fuck, you never saw three drunks run like that. Suddenly, I remembered a joke from my childhood. Something about running from a hungry bear: I don't have to be faster than the bear, I just have to be faster than you.
Lessons learned from that experience:
1. Cows are fucking scary fast.
2. Drunk people can't run.
I was clearly in the lead, running back toward the fence. I hopped nimbly over (har har) and promptly spewed all over myself. Purple fluid, nuts and raisins came shooting out of my mouth like the pie eating contest in "Stand By Me". It was evidently quite spectacular.
Mike came over next, but it was obvious that Lasse wasn't going to make it. I guess he thought he was being chased by a bear, because he decided to fall down and play dead, but it was clear the cow wasn't to be had so easily. She stopped, rolled Lasse over with her nose, and started sniffing him. For a minute I thought his ruse was going work. Then the calf trotted over, and I swear, with God as my witness, monkey-stomped Lasse in the nutsack. Then the Momma and baby just walked away. Lasse projectile vomited in a fashion very similar to my own. Mike and I stood there, open-mouthed, disbelieving.
We never spoke of the incident again.
Meet the sleek new C2 stun gun from Taser International in Scottsdale, a controversial device aimed mainly at women consumers that has sparked widespread concern among U.S. law enforcement and human rights groups...That's right. It's a well-known fact that giving a woman tools that could protect her from physical harm puts her in imminent danger of that same physical harm. Through the wonders of sympathetic magic, it is the tool that creates the danger in the first place, ergo banning the tool eliminates the danger**. Logically then, women are safer when they have nothing with which to protect themselves. How has that played out in history?
[T]he new, lighter, brighter designer version, which was launched in late July with a price tag of around $350, is small enough to tuck into a purse and packs the same paralyzing punch...
But some of the nation's top police authorities are concerned that the gadgets could easily wind up in the wrong hands*. Amnesty International also is opposed, saying it can pose "serious harm" for women.
Natural weather variations have offset the effects of global warming for the past couple of years and will continue to keep temperatures flat through 2008, a study released Thursday said.What is most interesting about this study are three facts: a) this year, the model got reality wrong; b) the models excluded data that by all means should have been included; and c) we are assured that the model will predict the future going forward, even though it has failed to predict today. The future is assumed to occur without the variations that haunt the present.
But global warming will begin in earnest in 2009, and a couple of the years between 2009 and 2014 will eclipse 1998, the warmest year on record to date, in the heat stakes, British meteorologists said.
Existing global climate computer models tend to underestimate the effects of natural forces on climate change, so for this analysis, Met Office experts tweaked their model to better reflect the impact of weather systems such as La Nina, or fluctuations in ocean heat and circulation.
It was widely reported in the media on Thursday that Global Alpha, a mega $9 billion hedge fund in Goldman's asset management group, was down 16% for the year.What is most interesting about this story are three facts: a) this year, the model got reality wrong; b) the models excluded data that by all means should have been included; and c) unlike global warming models, there will be no future going forward for these funds because the future was assumed to occur without the variations that haunted the present.
Unlike the typical hedge fund, Global Alpha is a quantitative fund, meaning that its trades are determined by computers and convoluted mathematical models. Some quant funds are completely computer dictated, while others spew out investment options for a human trader to veto or accept...
Of course Global Alpha might not be alone. While it may be one of the most high-profile funds because of its size and the name of its parent, other quantitative funds may also be at risk.
"[T]here comes a time when all such models break down. We saw it with LTCM, we see it now with Moody's, Fitch and the S&P, and we see it again with Goldman Sachs's Global Alpha quant fund that simply cannot trade.That's precisely what we're about to find out. And I suspect it will be a lot sooner than the new, improved global warming models tell us we're all going to die - that is, as soon as the future stops throwing surprises at us.
There is one more model that going to fail as well. That's the model [that] thinks the Fed can keep engineering bigger bubble after bigger bubble to bail out the markets. That model is on the verge of collapse right now and that is what has nearly every central bank spooked.
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Goldman Sachs Group's $8 billion Global Alpha hedge fund has fallen 26% so far this year, a retreat that could lead skittish investors to cash out, according to a Friday report citing unnamed sources.While both of those are huge names - the kind of names I expected to see - neither of the stories explains the coordinated panic of the world's central banks. That story has not yet made the press. I hope I'm wrong. We'll know soon enough.
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Citigroup Inc. has reportedly lost more than $700 million in credit business in recent weeks, placing the world's biggest financial services firm high on the list of casualties from the market-roiling credit crunch.
Making coins may soon make more cents...So today's question*** is simple:
[U]nder a measure recently proposed by members of the Senate and House, the Mint would have the power to alter the metal composition of coins to make them cheaper...
"This proposed legislation establishes an open, flexible process to evaluate and use alternative materials for producing our nation's coinage more economically," Mint Director Edmund Moy said in a statement.
Ron is the man for our time. He could get this straightened out. God speed, sir...Anyone reading the conservative or libertarian sites has seen plenty of the above from Dr. Paul's supporters*. Dr. Paul walks on water. Dr. Paul can change the world. Dr. Paul can save America.
Ron Paul is The only Candidate that is Honest and Knowledgable–Who will Restore Our Constitution before it is too Late...
Ron Paul is the last great hope for America as a nation that is a leader in freedom, hope, and honor. Helps us Dr. Paul, you’re our only hope…
African-Americans are victims of nearly half the murders committed in the United States despite making up only 13 percent of the population, a report published Thursday showed.but buried waaaaay down in the article is a telling statistic:
Around 8,000 of nearly 16,500 murder victims in 2005, or 49 percent, were black Americans, according to the report released by the statistics bureau of the Department of Justice.
Broken down by gender, 6,800 black men were murdered in 2005, making up more than half the nearly 13,000 male murder victims...
Young black men aged between 17 and 29 bore a disproportionately high burden in the grim statistics, making up 51 percent of African-American murder victims.
Most murder victims -- 93 percent of blacks and 85 percent of whites -- were killed by someone of their own race.It seems to me that presenting blacks solely as victims, who stoicly "bear a disportionately high burden in the grim statistics," completely ignores the cultural and criminal side of the story. Isn't it at least as newsworthy that blacks, who make up only 13% of the US population, commit nearly half its murders, more than nine times in ten against members of their own race? And would saying so not be a good first step towards identifying - and perhaps addressing - the pressing problems of the black community, which not only contains the largest plurality of society's victims, but society's perpetrators as well?
Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- European Central Bank council member Axel Weber said investors shouldn't expect central banks to bail them out in the event of an "abrupt'' drop in financial markets.
"If you misprice risk, don't come looking to us for liquidity assistance,'' Weber said in an interview in Davos, Switzerland at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.Investors ignored the warning, counting instead on what has become known as the "Greenspan Put," that rush of central bank money any time a problem develops in the market. Who was correct? Investors were:
Aug. 9 (Bloomberg) -- The European Central Bank, in an unprecedented response to a sudden demand for cash from banks roiled by the subprime mortgage collapse in the U.S., loaned 94.8 billion euros ($130 billion) to assuage a credit crunch...Some "fine tuning." Not only did the ECB come thru to bail out investors, it came through with 150% of the cash called for after 9/11. There's a similar story with the Fed, which sent William Poole out a few weeks ago to tell investors they were on their own and then provided emergency cash last night to save their bacon.
The ECB said today it provided the largest amount ever in a single so-called "fine-tuning" operation, exceeding the 69.3 billion euros given on Sept. 12, 2001, the day after the terror attacks on New York.
The Fed should only act "in due time" if evidence accumulates that the market upsets threaten to cause price stability or low unemployment, or when financial-market developments threaten market processes themselves, Poole said.And yet the Fed acted. And markets are now expecting the Fed to lower interest rates at or before their next meeting, scheduled for September. Action always leads to the expectation of further action.
"The necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude and perseverance."
-- Samuel Adams