January 12, 2008 archive

2008 Predictions & Economic Buzz from the Investment Pros

What follows are some random snippets from the dozens of private newsletters I receive everyday in the course doing buisness. They are in no particular order, just fragments that jumped out at me that I wanted to share with you guys. Each snippet comes from a different source. Of course, I have my own opinions, but why don’t we listen to the buzz amongst the investment pros, for now:

Lower interest rate cuts don’t revive the DOW anymore. Indeed, the anticipation of rate cuts causes giddy hysteria which, when the actual cuts are discussed, turns sour as investors realize that this nostrum won’t nos or strum…. I also speculate that the rate cuts by the Fed this last 4 months is directly feeding the gold bubble. This is very much like the economy before Volker and Carter forced interest rates up and up and up until it killed inflation and the gold bubble.

The author goes on to note that only Carter (and a few courageous Presidents before him) had a clue about the bigger picture, and bascially saved the American economy from serious harm by taking uncomfortable measures during his own term.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 FBI finds Blackwater trucks patched

By LARA JAKES JORDAN and MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writers

Sat Jan 12, 10:49 AM ET

WASHINGTON – Blackwater Worldwide repaired and repainted its trucks immediately after a deadly September shooting in Baghdad, making it difficult to determine whether enemy gunfire provoked the attack, according to people familiar with the government’s investigation of the incident.

Damage to the vehicles in the convoy has been held up by Blackwater as proof that its security guards were defending themselves against an insurgent ambush when they fired into a busy intersection, leaving 17 Iraqi civilians dead.

U.S. military investigators initially found “no enemy activity involved” and the Iraqi government concluded the shootings were unprovoked.

NAFTA And Corn: Destroying Mexico


Mexican Corn Field

Yesterday, both the US and Mexico publicly praised NAFTA while Mexican farmers begged for help.  According to Reuters:

U.S. officials trumpeted an end to farm trade restrictions under NAFTA, the controversial North American trade deal, on Friday, while Mexican farmers vowed to take to the streets to protest liberalization they fear will run them into the ground. /snip

Mark Keenum, U.S. undersecretary for farm and foreign agriculture, said the agreement had been a win for farmers in both countries, “creating not only dramatic growth in two-way agricultural trade, but providing our farmers, ranchers and processors with the potential (for) new export opportunities.”

This is some kind of a malicious joke.  NAFTA is no “win win”.  It’s really a disaster for Mexican subsistence farmers, US immigration policy, and bio diversity.  The only winner is US agribusiness.

Join me across the Rio Pequeno.

Open Meta Thread…Please Complain!

Tomorrow is the four month ‘anniversary’ of Docudharma!

(Sorry…. we can’t afford to buy actual fireworks yet, so here is a picture of a guy in a fireworks store!)


We have had well over a million page views, were rated #51 amongst liberal blogs, (h/t hornbeck!)are up to 1126 members and a whole bunch of other VERY impressive stats that people who are very impressed by stats would be very impressed by….if I knew where to find them or what they meant! Maybe OTB or nlob (two of the many hard working, behind the scenes folks who make this place go) can bring us up to date on that sort of thing in the comments.

But to me what really matters, more than the number of members or the traffic is the community. I firmly believe that if you have a good community, you have a good blog. And I can’t think of a better community in all of the blogosphere.

My sincere and heartfelt thanks to all who participate here!

The Problem: NOT shuck and jive

Language is an indicator of what people think… how they think. And some small insight into the strategies they use for living next to, working with, and sharing a country, a continent, and planet with all other creatures. Jumping all over them for exposing their thinking is, imo, the wrong thing.

Fresh Starts

There is no one thing I can say I like about working in higher education.  The sense of accomplishment I feel when a student succeeds at learning can be as exhilarating as any drug I know.  I would hope it would only be surpassed by the feeling a student has in learning the material.

The knowledge that I am doing something worthwhile in this world, something that, I hope and choose to believe, can only improve the lives of those I teach, for the benefit of the world at large is why I became a teacher in the first place.

But right up there towards the top of the list is the fact that every year provides two or three opportunities for me and my students to have a fresh start.  Last semester and last year is in the past and it is time to start anew.  

Tech Talk – Building a News Aggregator

Problem: How do I take a bunch of feeds* and put them all through one system so that they will appear in chronological order and display the source and time of the post?

Solution: gAjax RSS Feeds Displayer (hosted) found on DynamicDrive.com

The speed of this aggregator** is incredibly fast and I can control the output in any number of ways.  All of the steps are outlined on the page linked above.  Basically you insert some code into the header of a new HTML*** page, add the code snippet to the body of the new page, save it, upload it to your server and in the same folder upload an image and a javascript****.

So with 10 minutes of work I can now display any news headlines I like.  And If I want to build new pages with different sources all I have to do is make a new page and plug in the new feeds, the script doesn’t change, which means it can be referenced repeatedly for different queries.

(examples below the fold)

The ONLY reason you would oppose a recount

Any time anybody gives me a marching order, without any reasons why, my first instinct is to ask “why?”

When that person responds “Because I said so,” it tends to rub me the wrong way to say the least.

That approach doesn’t even work with my five year old, and it sure as heck doesn’t work with anybody but authority-lovers like Fundie Christians.

Yet that’s what we’re supposed to swallow from the likes of Kos and his little bully “enforcer” DHinMI over at Dailykos.

“Oppose a recount in New Hampshire BECAUSEE WE SAID SO” is what they’re saying over there.  Do they really think that’s gonna work?

And the reason it’s really suspect:  Why would you oppose something that would ultimately PROVE THAT YOU ARE RIGHT?

Pony Party: Aging is Great!!!!

You can really tell that any products that are geared toward aging are trying to promote the idea that aging is just fantastic and with a few extra consumer products we can have exactly the same lives as we age. After all who wants to see commercials about pureed food?

This one is irksome because the damn song got in my head but it manages to both bash and embrace technology. If you have a basic inability to grasp modern technology and like to gripe about this modern world we live in here is the cell phone for you!!!!

Leaky bladders are no big deal….

I have a question about the Viagra commercials….. notice how they always show eager but very monogamous couples gearing up for a little whoopee di doop? Notice how attractive they are?? How come the commercials never show balding, overweight, sweaty, guys trying to impress women much younger than them? Apologies to balding, sweaty, overweight middle aged men because I am not exactly a beauty queen myself. But one gets the idea from the “boner” commercials that the only people who want to have sex when they are older are in serious committed relationships and are very, very, attractive. I’m thinking well  as I age, I am doomed as an average looking middle aged woman, apparently unless I look like Sharon Stone I won’t even think about sex, never mind actually have any.

Nor will I see any full frontal male nudity on American TV or in movies unless it is classified as porn because for some reason in our society the sight of a penis is far more taboo than somebody’s brains spilled out on the pavement. I can only guess there is some feeling among the ruling classes that if women actually see such things on TV or in movies they might run wild and ferment revolution.

That is OK I will be too busy wearing my serenity diapers while doing fun and socially acceptable sports activities while chatting up my girlfriends on my “jitterbug” to worry about sex and nudity. Why with the book club and the volunteer work I will be just too busy to fit it all in.

Please don’t rec pony party.

Hang out and chit chat and then go read some of the excellent offerings on our recent and rec’d list.

PS, I will be late  to this pony party because I am at the feline salon getting my coat groomed.

PPS, next week I will be without the internet tubes in Canada and won’t have time before I leave to construct some pony parties so you might just get a break from the Saturday pony parties.

How to decide if its racist (or sexist, or antisemitic or….

Who gets to decide if something is racist? Or sexist?

Or if a remark that is racially insensitive or sexually insensitive is an indication that the person making the remark is a racist or sexist?

This whole thing had me somewhat confused; I haven’t followed the whole imbroglio either here or at big Orange, it’s too tangled up with candidate diaries and general nastiness (which I am beginning to see over here…. oy).

But it’s really simple.

Just put yourself in there.  And your own group.

I’m a white guy.  But, like nearly everyone in America, I’m a member of a minority.  I’m Jewish.  So….

if Cuomo had said “you can’t just bargain your way into the presidency” about a Jewish candidate…. would I be pissed?  Bet your ass I would.

If Jackson had said, about a Jewish candidate “he’s just appealing to their pocketbooks” would I be pissed?  Bet your ass I would

So, yeah, I’m pissed at Jackson (whose dad made a bunch of clearly anti-Semitic remarks) and I’m pissed at Cuomo.  More important, I’m pissed at Obama (was keeping McClurkin insensitive to gays? Ummmm. ASK GAY PEOPLE.  The opinions I’ve seen from GLBT people have been pretty condemnatory).  

if it’s sauce for the goose, it’s sauce for the gander.

It can get trickier though.  Because, you know what? Not all women agree as to what’s sexist; not all Blacks agree as to what’s racist; not all Jews agree as to what’s anti-Semitic, and so on.

But put yourself in their place.

Would Cuomo be upset if someone said of him “You can’t just grease some palms and pay some people off”?  Well, I’m guessing the answer is “yes”.  

see how easy it usually is?

electoral progress for minorities – the historical record – NACD

cross posted from Daily Kos

The frontrunners for the Democratic nomination for president are a woman, Hillary Clinton, and a black man, Barack Obama.  Both are United States Senators.  Nominating either would represent a major advance for a group that has been under-represented in the national government.  This relatively brief diary, which is Not A Candidate Ddiary because it does not advocate for or against a presidential candidate, will examine the history of both groups – blacks and women – in the United States Congress.   If we think that underrepresentation is an example of injustice in a Democratic system, and IF we wish to consider making a statement about equity as part of our decision making about for whom we will vote knowing the history of representation in Congress might be useful.   Even if we intend to ignore issues of race and gender in our own voting, it might serve some purpose to be aware of the history, and hence this diary.

Pony Party: Robots

An optimistic fanciful and interesting view of robots…..

A slightly darker yet still funny view of robots…..

Kraftwerk!!!! I liked them in high school, I don’t exactly remember why.

Did you think we were going to have an involved and intricate ethical/philosophical discussion about the de-humanizing and potentially oppressive impact of technology on humanity???? Don’t be silly.

Please don’t rec pony party.

Hang out, chit chat and then go read some of the excellent offering on our recent and rec’d list.

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