Friday, April 16, 2010

Baby Ducks

I tried to make this point yesterday at Innocent Bystanders, but I don’t think it came through very well. And I don’t think it’s been pointed out anywhere in the media, so it’s really worth making the point well. So, sans plus ado, here’s the point:

For the past 5 1/2 months, the initial unemployment claims data have not really changed. Here’s what I mean:

The data are oscillating about a slowly increasing value, indicating that, if anything, unemployment claims are increasing. That means that for the past 5 1/2 months, every time the administration has told us that the unemployment situation is slowly recovering, and that the data show “the right trend,” they have been absolutely mistaken.

The media has been doing their typical baby duck analysis: every day is a brand new day, every unemployment claims report is the first one they’ve ever seen. So we get headlines like, “job situation improving” when the number of claims drops, and “unexpected increase” when the number rises.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sound Vaguely Familiar?

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A collusion between the overweening state and certain favored monopolistic concerns, whereby the profits can be privatized and the debts socialized.

Devalued paper currency in the international community.

Kleptocracy -- those in positions of influence use their time in office to maximize their own gains, always ensuring that any shortfall is made up by those unfortunates whose daily life involves earning money rather than making it.

There must be no principle of accountability within the government so that the political corruption by which the banana republic operates is left unchecked. The members of the national legislature will be (a) largely for sale and (b) consulted only for ceremonial and rubber-stamp purposes some time after all the truly important decisions have already been made elsewhere.

...a money class fleeces the banking system while the very trunk of the national tree is permitted to rot and crash...


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A Great Collapse. The U.S. economic and systemic solvency crises of the last two years are just precursors to a Great Collapse: a hyperinflationary great depression. Such will reflect a complete collapse in the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar, a collapse in the normal stream of U.S. commercial and economic activity, a collapse in the U.S. financial system as we know it, and a likely realignment of the U.S. political environment. The current U.S. financial markets, financial system and economy remain highly unstable and vulnerable to unexpected shocks. The Federal Reserve is dedicated to preventing deflation, to debasing the U.S. dollar. The results of those efforts are being seen in tentative selling pressures against the U.S. currency and in the rallying price of gold. 

German Paper Marks per U.S. Dollar 1922-1923
Toilet Paper Only - No Zimbabwe Dollars
Nonfarm Payroll Employment
Real Average Weekly Earnings
Annual Consumer Inflation
Gold Price
Federal Obligations as Percentage of GDP
Foreign Purchases of U.S. Treasury Issuance

Yuri Redux: Unplug Your Bananas

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As explained in this interview (25 years old, in fact) with Yuri Bezmenov, a former KGB official, we are already well along the way toward socialist-marxist rule. He describes the four stages of a communist takeover and at least the first two sound chillingly similar to what our nation has been going through over the last 50 years or more: Demoralization, Crisis, Normalization, and Destabilization.

Welcome To Obama "Care"

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ObamaCare will expand considerably the demand for health care, that's a given. Already, consumers are confused, wondering where they can go sign up for their free doctor appointments. This increase in demand follows imposition of socialized medicine like night follows day and will have the effect of reducing the supply of doctors, as anyone with an elementary understanding of economics would understand.


Neil Armstrong, Patriot

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Former astronaut Neil Armstrong criticizes the president for proposed revisions to the U.S.' space program.

Former astronaut Neil Armstrong has issued a strongly worded rebuke of President Barack Obama, criticizing the president for proposed revisions to the U.S.' space program.

"The United States entered into the challenge of space exploration under President Eisenhower’s first term, however, it was the Soviet Union who excelled in those early years," the letter begins."Under the bold vision of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, and with the overwhelming approval of the American people, we rapidly closed the gap in the final third of the 20th century, and became the world leader in space exploration. ...

"Although some of these proposals have merit, the accompanying decision to cancel the Constellation program, its Ares 1 and Ares V rockets, and the Orion spacecraft, is devastating.

It appears that we will have wasted our current ten plus billion dollar investment in Constellation

Neil Armstrong

Commander, Apollo 11

James Lovell

Commander, Apollo 13

Eugene Cernan

Commander, Apollo 17

Run For The Hills!

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Figure 3. US decadal average temperatures by month, 1900-2009. Red line is the average for the decade 2000-2009. Photo is Half Dome, Yosemite.

Most months of the year there is so little change in the decadal averages that the lines cannot be distinguished. The warming, what there is, occurred mostly in the months of November, December, January, and February. Slightly warmer temperatures in the winter … somehow, that doesn’t strike me as anything worth breathing hard about.

My point in all of this is that the temperature changes that we are discussing (a global rise of a bit more than half a degree C in the last century) are trivially small. A half degree change cannot be sensed by the human body. In addition, the changes are generally occurring in the winter, outside of the tropics in the cooler parts of the planet, and at night. Perhaps you see this small warming, as has often been claimed, as a huge problem that “vastly eclipses that of terrorism” (the Guardian).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Eject Them!

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The new exchanges do not have to be in operation until 2014. But because of a possible “drafting error,” the report says, Congress did not specify an effective date for the section excluding lawmakers from the existing program.

Under well-established canons of statutory interpretation, the report said, “a law takes effect on the date of its enactment” unless Congress clearly specifies otherwise. And Congress did not specify any other effective date for this part of the health care law. The law was enacted when President Obama signed it three weeks ago.

In other words, theoretically the law kicks them out of the federal health plan now in order to force them to join insurance exchanges … that don’t exist yet. Looking forward to tomorrow, when we’re inevitably told that they meant to do that. Exit question for lawyers: Who would have standing to sue to force the federal health plan to drop Congress now? Any citizen, or is it more refined than that?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Name Them

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Elena Kagan would also bring notable educational diversity to the Court. Kagan would be the very first Justice ever to have attended Princeton and then Harvard Law. Obviously, that would be a major break after two consecutive nominees who had attended Princeton and then Yale Law (Justices Alito and Sotomayor). Whoever Obama picks, I think it’s clear that Obama faces a major choice and that his selection will be a historic occasion.


UPDATE: Reader John Steakley emails with a question for enterprising reporters: “Mr. President, do you believe that ANY of America’s public university law schools are competent to educate the next Supreme Court Justice? And if so, please name them.”

Coincidences (Part 69,593)

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The Polish President and numerous top officials died aboard a TU-154 while trying to land at Smolensk airbase.He was on his way to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre which took place in the woods near that city. Lech Kaczyński “was an activist in the pro-democratic anti-Communist movement in Poland … During the martial law introduced by the communists in December, 1981, he was interned as an anti-socialist element. After his release from internment, he returned to trade union activities, becoming a member of the underground Solidarity.” A BBC blog soliciting reader reactions said “Mr Kaczynski has been a controversial figure in Polish politics, advocating a right-wing Catholic agenda.”

The New York Times described him as “a source of tension within the EU”. It described him as a firm believer in close military ties with the US, an arrangement which Kaczyński believed would keep his powerful neighbor at bay.

And Vlad will lead the investigation! Just Wow!

Please Let It Be So

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A vaccine being tested in the UK has helped been shown to help some patients
fully recover from melanoma, even in its advanced stages.

It attacks tumour cells, leaving healthy cells undamaged and carries agents
that boost the body's response to skin cancer.

Dr Howard Kaufman, of Chicago's Rush University Medical Centre, said: "Our
study shows we may have a cure for some advanced melanoma patients and a
drug which has real benefits for others.

"This will save thousands of lives a year."

Over the past 25 years, rates of melanoma in Britain have risen faster than
any other common cancer and 2,000 die from the disease every year.

A study of 50 patients with advanced melanoma who had been given no more than
nine months to live found that 16 per cent of them recovered completely with
the vaccine. They have been disease-free for more than four years.

Another 28 per cent saw the size of their tumours more than halved.