Michael B. Duff

Lubbock's answer to a question no one asked

Archive for September 2010

links for 2010-09-20

Written by Michael B. Duff

September 20, 2010 at 23:31

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links for 2010-09-18

Written by Michael B. Duff

September 18, 2010 at 23:01

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links for 2010-09-17

  • No great insight was needed to realize that Cash for Clunkers would work a hardship on people unable to afford a new car. “All this program did for them,’’ I wrote last August, “was guarantee that used cars will become more expensive. Poorer drivers will be penalized to subsidize new cars for wealthier drivers.’’ Alec Gutierrez, a senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book, predicted that used-car prices would surge by up to 10 percent. “It’s going to drive prices up on some of the most affordable vehicles we have on the road,’’ he told USA Today. In short, Washington spent nearly $3 billion to raise the price of mobility for drivers on a budget.

Written by Michael B. Duff

September 17, 2010 at 23:01

Posted in Uncategorized

links for 2010-09-16

  • You don’t increase spending by those amounts without changing the role of government in ways that go to the heart of the American project. That truth is reflected in the qualitative record. In 1963, 30 years after the New Deal started, the federal government still played little role in vast swathes of American life, from K-12 education to the way people went about providing goods and services to their fellow citizens. We can argue about which of the subsequent interventions were warranted and which were not, but not about this: The way that presidents and Congresses see their power to intervene in American life in 2010 is profoundly different from the way they saw it in 1963.
  • Not to mention the fact that Mr. Weiner's regulatory push seems as much aimed at conservative journalists as at the gold-dealers. The press release says, "Goldline employs several conservative pundits to act as shills for its' [sic] precious metal business, including Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, Laura Ingraham, and Fred Thompson. By drumming up public fears during financially uncertain times, conservative pundits are able to drive a false narrative. Glenn Beck for example has dedicated entire segments of his program to explaining why the U.S. money supply is destined for hyperinflation with Barack Obama as president."
  • "Even in our own lifetimes we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of atheist extremism of the 20th century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus a reductive vision of a person and his destiny."
  • Zombies, AMC style. Awesome trailer. Smart, sensitive comic done by smart, sensitive TV network. WIN.
    (tags: comics tv amc)
  • Only two of the cases involved Facebook and in each case, “one or two of the suspects were Facebook friends with the respective homeowners. They basically had access to the walls and could read that the families were away on vacation. The information was only available to friends and the Facebook Places feature was NOT a part of this. And finally my advice to Facebook users is carefully pick your friends and watch what you post.”
  • On the one hand, it's silly to even get sucked into the official press narrative. The very idea that the Obama administration — which named one of the architects of the TARP bailouts, then–New York Fed president Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary — will actually get tough with the fat cats on Wall Street is absurd.
  • I am, I’m simply candidly calling to ask for a contribution. As the senior member of the um, committee and a sub-committee chair, we have (chuckles) obligations to raise, uh funds. And, I think it must have been me who hasn’t, frankly, uh, done my homework to ask for a contribution earlier. So I’m trying to make up for it by asking for one now, when we particularly, uh, need, uh contributions, particularly those of us who have the seniority and chairmanships and are in a position to raise the funds.
  • There seems to be an emotional roller-coaster at work. A mere two weeks after recording the lowest bull ratio since the March 2009 low, the AAII bull ratio has jumped back to one of the highest levels of the year. Also, as we noted previously, there has been a very large number of so-called '90% days' since the April high (days when up or down volume is 90% or more of up and down volume combined), and there were several appearances of the 'Hindenburg Omen'. This combination suggests a very unstable, technically conflicted market, prone to a lot of volatility.
  • A Google engineer spied on four underage teens for months before the company was notified of the abuses.

Written by Michael B. Duff

September 16, 2010 at 23:01

Posted in Uncategorized

links for 2010-09-15

Written by Michael B. Duff

September 15, 2010 at 23:01

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links for 2010-09-14

Written by Michael B. Duff

September 14, 2010 at 23:02

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links for 2010-09-13

Written by Michael B. Duff

September 13, 2010 at 23:01

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links for 2010-09-12

  • "The US has run out of bullets," Roubini told an economic forum in Italy earlier this month. "Any shock at this point can tip you back into recession." But other economists, who have so far stayed out of the media limelight, are also proselytizing nightmarish visions of the future.
    (tags: economics fear)
  • Obama Sr. wasn't a doctrinaire socialist; rather, he saw state appropriation of wealth as a necessary means to achieve the anticolonial objective of taking resources away from the foreign looters and restoring them to the people of Africa. The senior Obama proposed that the state confiscate private land and raise taxes with no upper limit. In fact, he insisted that "theoretically there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100% of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed."
    (tags: politics obama)

Written by Michael B. Duff

September 12, 2010 at 23:01

Posted in Uncategorized

links for 2010-09-10

  • In addition to its roughly $400 billion (and growing) of outstanding government debt, the Greek number crunchers had just figured out that their government owed another $800 billion or more in pensions. Add it all up and you got about $1.2 trillion, or more than a quarter-million dollars for every working Greek. Against $1.2 trillion in debts, a $145 billion bailout was clearly more of a gesture than a solution. And those were just the official numbers; the truth is surely worse.
  • And shame on all you evil capitalist haters who thought otherwise!
  • The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) with the mission of providing a world-class education to anyone, anywhere. Despite being the work of one man, Salman Khan, this 1600+ video library is the most-used educational video resource as measured by YouTube video views per day and unique users per month. We are complementing this ever-growing library with user-paced exercises–developed as an open source project–allowing the Khan Academy to become the free classroom for the World.
  • Greatest opening line to a movie review ever: "He’s an Irishman, she’s a seal. It’ll never work."
    (tags: movies humor)
  • A few hours ago, On Faith co-moderator Jon Meacham made a poignant plea to Jones on "Morning Joe." It was an extraordinary moment of television — not only because Meacham made his entreaty on religious grounds, but also because of anchor Mika Brzezinski's refusal to let Jones speak. [Keep watching to see Jones called 'scum'.]
  • My mother could not be more proud of me, and of her adopted son Gabriel, but mostly of me. She was proud of me well before I deserved it, and was made to endure much as I transitioned from absolutely insufferable teenager to an adult who had found a way to get paid for being insufferable. I have told you that she loves me, and I have told you that she has a denim shirt with a matching cap that has "penny-arcade.mom" stitched into them by a device in a mall kiosk. But I have not told you about the three text messages she sent on Saturday night, which read in order:

    I just played Halo!, followed by

    I am powning right now, and then an

    Awwww yeah, as though… God only knows why she would say something like that. She likes PAX.

  • Craigslist reacted to this as any responsible business would. It went to extraordinary lengths to cooperate with law enforcement and encouraged its buyers to beware. But in today’s hair-trigger regulatory climate, cooperation is not enough. Corruption must be pulled out, root and branch, while the guardians of public safety make speeches in the foreground.

Written by Michael B. Duff

September 10, 2010 at 23:01

Posted in Uncategorized

links for 2010-09-09

Written by Michael B. Duff

September 9, 2010 at 23:01

Posted in Uncategorized