Thursday, September 25, 2008

Simple explanation of the housing/lending crisis

There's a great post by Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air about the current financial crisis. In short, bad stuff happens when the government makes results-oriented economic policy decisions. Tunnel vision can be devastating, because a single policy change can have far-flung impacts.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Obama wants to "manage" the economy and he doesn't even know how investing works

Obama wants to "manage" the economy and he doesn't even know how investing works. He attacked McCain's support for privatizing social security accounts. Aside from the obvious rebuttal that the privatization plan only gives people the OPTION to invest in the stock market, there is a second response that hits home against Obama's financial scaremongering. As explained at RedState, people do not invest in social security over weeks or months, they invest over decades.

Most people will contribute to social security over a period in the vicinity of 40 years. Even investing in the stock market over a 40 year period including the entirety of the Great Depression would have yielded a positive return of a couple hundred percent. Don't take my word for it. Check out for yourself here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Will the spinner be the winner?

A Queen's University computer scientist has developed a software application that measures politicians' "spin" based on the text of their speeches. Surprise, surprise, the results are as follows:

If you read the article, though, their definition of "spin" also includes hyperbole and soaring rhetoric. Extremely polarizing words and action words are considered "spin". Hopefully, this will in some degree expose Obama as the shyster he is.

I found this line particularly amusing:

"Obama uses spin in his speeches very well," says Skillicorn. For example, Obama's spin level skyrockets when facing problems in the press, such as when Jeremiah Wright, the reverend of his former church, made controversial comments to the press.

Does the algorithm count "uh" and "um" as spin?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Fiorina Non-gaffe gaffe.

So there's a big hubub about McCain adviser and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, who suggested *shock* that Sarah Palin and John McCain would not be qualified to run a large company. It's a gaffe only if you consider revealing an obvious truth to be a gaffe.

Of course she also said that neither Barack Obama nor Joe Biden would be qualified. In fact, the only major presidential competitor this year who would be qualified for such a job is Mitt Romney.

So this revelation doesn't matter in a relative sense. I would argue that it doesn't matter in an absolute sense, either. Why? Because this isn't the damned Soviet Union, that's why! The United States does not have a centrally planned economy. It never has. This distinction, however, seems lost on the Obama campaign:

Predictably, the Obama campaign pounced. "If John McCain's top economic adviser doesn't think he can run a corporation, how on Earth can he run the largest economy in the world in the midst of a financial crisis?" spokesman Tommy Vietor asked.

Hell, even the Soviet economy wasn't run by one person. It was operated by a hierarchy of economists and politicians. But if anyone can do it, it's the Messiah, right?

For fun, here's a list of centrally planned economies (from Wikipedia):

Soviet Union
Great Leap Forward China
Pre-1990's India
Saudi Arabia
North Korea

Resounding successes, all!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This is one reason why I can't really respect Ron Paul.

This is one reason why I can't really respect Ron Paul. How could he give even the slightest notions of support for Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney, whose ideas of governance run perfectly contrary to his own? Here he mars his idealistic reputation and paints himself as an aimless rabble-rouser whose only appeal is to pure anti-war voters. To Paul, taking down the establishment is more important than ensuring that the right mechanisms will take its place.

I don't know why I'm surprised. This fits very well with Paul's other associations with less than savory characters.

h/t AoSHQ

Friday, September 5, 2008

We've held up the red cape...

... and now the bull will charge to its doom.

Obama's hackles were clearly raised by Palin's dismissal of his community organizing --a response to his earlier dismissal of her record as a small-town mayor. "Why would that kind of work be ridiculed?" Obama said. "Who are they fighting for?" The idea that community organizing is not relevant to the presidency, he said, just shows why Republicans "are out of touch and don't get it."

Perhaps Obama should consider whether he's the one who's out of touch. The overwhelming majority of Americans do not have community organizers, and even those who do may not know or care about them. They do, however, have mayors. Mayors who serve at the will of their constituents and are held responsible by them. Mayors must serve the people as the people see fit. Community organizers may work according to their own whims without being held responsible by the people. It's no wonder why corruption runs rampant in the ACORN organization. ACORN only works for itself.

h/t Hot Air

Totally disgusting

Another example of people in the UK disrespecting their service members. Actually, this goes beyond disrespect. It's discrimination. I wonder what other groups of people are turned away from this hotel. Surely they wouldn't do it based on race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

McCain RNC speech notes

McCain sticks to his strategy of exuding class from every pore. Very gracious words for Obama and appeals to the center.

I noticed another line about a family with an autistic child, continuing the appeals to families with special needs children that Sarah Palin began last night. Of course, there were no specifics, so I don't know if that is going to go very far into swaying those voters. Unlike single issue voters on issues such as abortion or the war, parents of special needs children have very specific concerns that cannot be addressed with one liners.

A lot of it was a dry recitation of classic talking points, but they are classic for a reason. I would have preferred more specific proposals, but that has always been better suited for the debate format, so we shall see. He got pumped up for his "Fight, fight, fight!" conclusion, which ended it on an energetic note. It kind of made me want to play football for the University of McCain, too.

The people have spoken: Obama would be the more experienced vice presidential candidate... barely.

AllahPundit at Hot Air comments on a new Rasmussen poll which shows that unaffiliated voters find Obama to be more experienced than Palin by only a 5% margin (42% to 37%). And mind you, this poll was taken before Palin's big speech at the RNC.

AP quickly makes the point that the difference is bigger when all voters are counted (49% to 39%), because "unaffiliateds are likely to include more disaffected conservatives than liberals these days". I agree, but McCain needs to win over these disaffected conservatives as much as he needs crossover votes. Some of them may technically consider themselves undecideds, and others may needs some excitement to get off their butts and get to the polls on Election Day.

Of course the most fun out of all of this is thinking about the embarrassment of the Obama campaign. Voters view the best case of their ticket as being barely more experienced than the worst case of their opponents' ticket.

I guess no government meddling is off the table in the UK

Zombies want my brain and now the state wants my kidneys.


- Is the next step forbidding any sort of activity that is remotely unhealthy and therefore damaging to useful organs? Would they be banning alcohol in the UK? From what I hear, that wouldn't go over too well.

- There is of course the alternative option of allowing people to sell their organs. What we have right now is a price ceiling of $0 on organs, making the organ supply prohibitively small. But of course the idea of selling organs is icky, so we're not allowed to talk about that.

- Does this mean that even from the pro-choice mindset, abortion would be destruction of government property?

h/t Samizdata

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sarah Palin speech energy highlight.

Nicely tying energy independence to foreign policy:
With Russia wanting to control a vital pipeline in the Caucasus and to divide and intimidate our European allies by using energy as a weapon, we cannot leave ourselves at the mercy of foreign suppliers.

Russia wants to control the supply of oil and spike prices with militaristic adventures? Well, they can't reap the benefits of such attacks if a large flowing oil supply is safe, far from their reach.

Digging the Rudy speech.

Most of my experience with Giuliani comes from reading and watching debates, where he was a big dud. This is why I'm so pleasantly surprised at his rousing speech right now at the RNC.

My favorite line:
Nearly 130 times, he couldn't make a decision. He couldn't figure out whether to vote "yes" or "no". It was too tough. He voted "present"! I didn't know about this vote "present" when I was mayor of New York City. Sarah Palin didn't have this vote "present" when she was mayor or governor... For President of the United States it's not good enough to be "present". You have to make a decision.

Does Sarah Palin's experience matter more than that of past candidates?

I've seen the following take on Sarah Palin's experience floating around in a couple of places:
With voters concerned about McCain's age and his history of skin cancer, it remains to be seen whether they will be reassured by a woman with little to no experience on the federal stage who is a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Let us remember, however, that half of all presidents who have died in office have died from assassination, not natural causes.

If we take the past data as indicative of the current odds of death while in office (not a safe assumption given the small sample size and the time differences between sampling, though it's the best information available), then the average president could be said to have a 9.3% chance of dying by assassination while in office and a 9.3% chance of dying from natural causes, or an 18.6% chance overall. If we take John McCain to be 50% more likely than average to die from natural causes (probably an overestimate), then his odds of dying in office would be 23.25%, a less than 5% difference.

As I admitted, this statistical data is unreliable. Perhaps fewer than 50% of presidents who die in office in the long run die from assassination. It is possible that the real figure may be more than 50%. However, it is clear that assassins kill a significant number of presidents. At best, health and age combined have only a fractional impact on the likelihood of a president dying in office. In the other instances, Barack Obama is no safer than John McCain. So while Sarah Palin's experience is a valid issue, it should not be much more significant than that of any other VP candidate.

Update: There's an examination of a similar topic in the WSJ Best of the Web. They kind of flip the topic on its head, though, and compare the likelihood of the two more experienced candidates serving as president by the end of the term (McCain versus Biden). They don't account for the high risk of assassination that all presidents face, however, which should bring both McCain and Obama's chances of death in office closer to the mean than if only considering the SSA data.

h/t RedState

Mr. Skulduggery is back and ready to crack some skuls!

I'm back to blogging and looking to start up at full force immediately, covering the presidential election, the RNC, the Sarah Palin drama, and exposing the logical backwardness of the Democratic Party.

The layout of the blog is pretty bare. The biggest omission is probably the blogroll, and I will start filling that out as I begin linking to other blogs in my posts. I much prefer this gradual process as opposed to just dropping a large list of blogs there, though I may put up some obvious ones preemptively.