Archive for ◊ September, 2008 ◊

Are Most Computer Users Idiots?
Tuesday, September 30th, 2008 | Author:

An article in Arstechnica describes the results of testing common computer users…  Psychologists ran a test whereby they had test subjects click on a dialog box that in effect said: “You are about to install some malware. Malware is bad. By clicking yes you are failing the Windows Darwin Test.”

Nearly half of the test subjects said all they cared about was getting rid of these dialogs.

Category: Engineering  | Leave a Comment
Video to Explain Economic Crisis
Tuesday, September 30th, 2008 | Author:

It’s a little long but it provides a nice explanation

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5tZc8oH–o[/youtube]

9 min 58 sec

Liberal Jews – Part 3
Tuesday, September 30th, 2008 | Author:

Update – And yet another… Naomi Wolf, former advisor to Al Gore, goes on a wild rant againt Palin.  Wolf claims that Palin is stealing her mail.

Sept 18, 2008 – And here comes another… Marc R. Stanley, Chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council (most likely a 5’8″ pinky swinger) exclaims that Sarah Palin should not come to New York to protest a visit by the Iranian President, because Hillary doesn’t want to be in the same presence of the Moose Shotting Momma…

I’v said it before, and I’ll say it again: the greatest threat to Judaism… Liberal Jews

Sept 16, 2008 – I don’t know why, but Liberal Jews always seem to be the first to support the crazy Leftists… and in effect, promulgate the decline of Judaism.  We’ve seen Lefties such as Noam Chomsky behave as the greatest enemy of the Jews.  In the latest episode, we find photographer Jill Greenberg doctoring photos of McCain to make him look threatening.

Anytime I talk to my brother on the phone, he brings up the topic of politics and rants about the latest Liberal Jew he ran into at the health club in Cincinnati.   It really irks him that these seemingly well-educated people with a Jewish background would consider supporting an apostate Moslem for President of the USA.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve taken a different approach than my brother.  I don’t try to convince the Liberal Jews to change their opinions.  Instead, I’ve taken the easy path by just avoiding any substantive relationships with these Silver Spooners.

Category: Politics  | Leave a Comment
Democrats and Government Mortgages
Monday, September 29th, 2008 | Author:

The American Thinker site has an interesting video that shows the actual proceedings from Congressional hearings a few years ago…   Evidently, Congress tried hard to better regulate Fannie Mae but a few high-placed Democrats fought that tooth and nail, even referring to criticism of former Fannie Mae chairman as a “lynching”.

The video is very revealing.  It shows Democrats Franklin Raines, Maxine Waters, Gregory Meeks, Artur Davis, Barney Frank, et al, in all their glory ensuring that the Government hands out money to people that cannot repay the loans.

Interestingly, former President Clinton told ABC News that the Democrats are to blame for the Fannie Mae meltdown since they blocked efforts to regulate and investigate the organization.

Hat tip to Bob Morris

Economic Intervention: How Much is Helpful?
Monday, September 29th, 2008 | Author:

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m still undecided when it comes to the appropriate measures to deal with the current financial crisis facing the country.   The US has been an economic juggernaut for the past fifty years due to the direct rewards for innovation & hard work, and the relatively easy access to investment capital.   Thus, I’m all for stabilizing the financial markets (markets are based on confidence), but the notion that the US Government (i.e., we taxpayers) has to pony-up billions of dollars does not feel right.  For example, the de facto Government take-over of AIG is most certainly a move towards Socialism.

A little background: Some years ago, I was honored to be selected by the staff at the Ohio Department of Development to represent the interests of small technology companies for Governor Taft’s “Third Frontier“.   The Third Frontier program was essentially the State of Ohio using money to implement a planned economic policy.  I really didn’t think much of the overall program, but it gave me the opportunity to hob-nob with executives from NCR, LexisNexis, etc.  Based on my expressed dislike for a Government-defined economic policy, I didn’t endear myself with my fellow committee members.

My views have not really changed.  While a total laissez faire approach is not realistic, I prefer to minimize the amount of intervention.

Note: A recent article in the Wall Street Journal noted that any solution should observe three guiding principles:
1) restore the stability of the financial system quickly and at the lowest possible cost  to the taxpayer;
2) punish those who are responsible for losses;
3) address the root cause of the crisis — the price collapse in the residential real-estate market

Is Bush Pushing Socialism as a Solution?
Sunday, September 28th, 2008 | Author:

A great editorial from George Will

Barney Frank, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac
Saturday, September 27th, 2008 | Author:

The title of this posting sounds like a Broadway play, but it captures the core of an article carried in the New York Times in September 2003.    I didn’t realize it, but five years ago the Bush administration proposed increased oversight and regulation of Fannie and Freddie, but a few high-ranking Democrats fought against it… A couple of interesting excerpts from the NY Times article:

“The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago. Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

[…]

”These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

Hat tip to Bob Morris

Liberal Jews – Part 2
Friday, September 26th, 2008 | Author:

Last week, I happened to be on a distribution list for an email from a group of Liberal Jews.  The email subject line was “Mr. Obama Goes to Shul”.  The email blurb was from a women who was at a Synagogue in Florida, where O’bama showed up to tell everyone that he’s really a good friend to the Jews. The email message ends with the outlook: “see, he says he really likes us, so it must be true.”

My first reaction after reading the text was to just discard the email and move on.  However, I just couldn’t ignore the continued pollyanna outlook exhibited by so many Jews… so I hit the reply-all button and typed: “It reads like the story of the Jews during the Holocaust… they so wanted to believe that they were good Germans (or Austrians, or Poles, etc), that they convinced themselves that they were walking to the showers…”

One person replied to me that I essentially was off-base (Note: this comment was from the same intellectual Liberal Jew who — on the subject of global warming — exclaimed to me that “the debate is over.  Everyone agrees that people are the cause of global warming.”)

Well, last night I happened to be flipping through the Lucianne News Site and I came across these three summary postings all on the same page.  It was almost as if someone was pressing my buttons:  Democrats are planning to censure Jewish Senator. Democrats inhibit protests against enemy of Jews… Jews are voting for Democrat.

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I’m at a loss to explain why the Jews continue “walking to the showers at the concentration camp” when the facts speak for themselves… I suppose the Leftist Jews are looking forward to the second coming of those famous anti-Semites, Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski…

Category: Politics  | Comments off
Obama Compendium Site
Friday, September 26th, 2008 | Author:

For those of you looking for a compendium that shows the “love” [sarcasm] for O’bama, check out this site: http://www.micom.net/oops/Obama/

Category: Humor, Politics  | Leave a Comment
Simple Explanation for Current Economic Crisis
Friday, September 26th, 2008 | Author:

I’ve been reading the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Bloomberg, etc, to get a concise view on the current economic crisis facing our nation.   Since I have family members asking me to describe the current situation, I’m going to try to provide a simple explanation by avoiding terms such as “capitalizing assets”, “liquidity in the marketplace”, “securitized mortgages”, and so on… So here it goes:

help.jpg

For the past 15 years, the US government has subsidized mortgages for many people who really could not afford to buy homes. This increased the demand for housing, which also pushed up prices for homes. Meanwhile, mortgage companies and banks had financial incentive to provide loans to just about anyone, and since the price of homes was on the way up, speculators starting building or buying more houses. This further pushed up housing prices.

As in most cases when markets have artificially inflated prices, the bubble ultimately bursts.

People started discovering that there were many more homes than buyers (i.e., supply exceeds demand). This naturally pushed down prices. As the price of homes dropped dramatically in many markets, the homeowners (particularly those who were “living too large”) discovered that they owed more money on their homes than the value of the property. Thus, the banks and financial institutions ended up with loans that will never be repaid as expected.

This major drop in loan value leads to financial institutions going bankrupt. A bank going out of business is one thing, but it becomes really bad when all of the banks stop lending money.  Remember, most people need to get a loan to buy a house. If people can’t confidently buy and sell homes, then home prices will get further depressed, accelerating a downward spiral.

The solution being pushed is that we taxpayers provide funds to help make up the losses for the banks. This isn’t directed to help specific financial institutions, but it is intended to ensure that enough banks are solvent so there is the flow of credit, and people can buy and sell homes (not to mention, cars, appliances, etc).  Did you use cash the last time you went to the gas station?   Similar to most people, you probably used a credit card.

You must not forget that a robust economy is based on the flow of credit to enable confident buying and selling.

Category: Business, Politics  | 4 Comments