Friday, July 06, 2012


"You don't even want to give solar power a chance."

MiroWould you pay $37,000,000 for this painting? Someone did. It looks like something a 5 year old would put together in kindergarden to me but all of his crap looks awful.

New unemployment data is up. The official government rate of 8.2% is unchanged, which means the real number of around 11% is unchanged as well. Other numbers:
  • The average length of unemployment rose to 39.9 weeks in June
  • Private-sector employment still down 3.9%, or 4.502 million. Government jobs overall are down 1.9%, with federal jobs (ex post office) up 10.7%.
  • For every one unemployed government worker, there are 11 private sector workers unemployed
  • the labor force participation rate was 63.8% in June
  • Unemployment has topped 8% for 41 straight months
  • part- time workers who’d prefer a full-time position and people who want work but have given up looking -- increased to 14.9 percent from 14.8 percent.
  • Payroll was lower than projected
  • 0 out of 70 economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected the contraction last month in the manufacturing sector
Here's a graph to help understand how this "recovery" is going. The red line is what we're experiencing now:

Which may be while even Henry "the bat" Waxman declared that we're in a depression. I read a great definition of a depression recently, and it went something like this:
"A depression is when a nation is in a recession and the government makes matters worse through stupid policy."
Responding to the Supreme Court's decision that the Government Health Insurance Takeover act is unconstitutional but still okay because it is a tax, the IRS has gone on a hiring frenzy. They'll need more workers to start punishing people for not buying a product from private companies simply because they are alive.

Israel held a Miss Holocaust Survivor beauty contest. The women, aged 74-97 dressed in their best and were judged by a panel. They all consisted of women who were alive during the Nazi German effort to obliterate Jews as a people. The purpose of the contest was billed as a "celebration of life" and the women participated to show that they were enjoying life and the efforts of the holocaust were a failure. Personally I think its just creepy.

Yet another "green" energy company propped up by the "stimulus" package has failed. This time its Nevada Geothermal Power, which is declaring bankruptcy.
The company has racked up $98 million in net losses in the past several years, cannot produce enough cash from current operations after debt-service payments and carries significant debt, the audit said.
If only someone had warned that this would be a failure and not help the economy!

Here's a list of all the failed "sustainable" energy projects that got government funds to stay open:
  • Solyndra
  • Lightsquared
  • Nevada Geothermal Power
  • Ener1
  • A123Systems
  • Abound Solar
  • Solar Trust
  • SunPower
  • Solar Power Project
  • SoloPower
  • Beacon Power
  • TR Auto Truck Plaza
Yet according to polling, only about 60% of the public has even heard of Solyndra. Are the polls correct, are people really that clueless about this?

Last week, on Friday, President Obama announced a total ban on offshore drilling until 2035. No new drilling for oil, anywhere off the coast of America... by Americans. The entire continental shelf has been marked off limits. But its okay, alternative energy will save us!

Thomas Lopez was a lifeguard in Florida who dove in and swum to save a drowning man. He was fired for it. Why? Because he was paid and hired only to guard a certain restricted area, and the man he saved was outside that area. This sounds crazy until you realize that insurance, bonding, and liability all pile up on companies, and if something had gone wrong, they were facing lawsuits and legal problems. In other words, the legal atmosphere businesses live in today are the problem, not some demented CEO.

Who is this man with George Soros?

Enrique Nieto and George SorosThat's Enrique Pena Nieto, the new president of Mexico, friend of and heavily financed by Soros. I'm sure he's a great choice, given his company. He ran on a platform of change for the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

Another city is abandoning its red light camera program. Pasadena California has dumped the red light cameras because they were losing money, and multiples studies suggest they do not increase safety in any case. Now the Little Old Lady can speed with less worry about tickets.

Facing a lousy economy and filled with goofy economic theories, the Obama administration has spent 42 months making silly predictions about how good news is just around the corner. Tim Cavanaugh has collected all the headlines at Reason.

Mermaids are not real. I know, I was stunned to learn this, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration made an official statement on the matter, in response to a news story that one had been found, then covered up by the government because... they hate mermaids, or something.

New York City is demonstrating what Walter Russell Meade puts this way:
The bluer you are, the more likely you are to turn into a wealth-polarized dystopia of tycoons and hotel maids.
He points out how the leftist democrat system results in creating very wealthy rich people who game the system and very poor people who live off it, and the middle class either is wiped out by taxes and regulatory burden, or leaves.
This is a textbook case of how the blue social model creates exactly those conditions that Americans deplore. New York’s complicated regulatory structure, high rents and high welfare costs make it almost impossible for even wealthy companies to maintain mass middle-class employment.
The policies meant to help the poor tend to keep them poor while wiping out the middle class.

Back when Barack Obama was a community organizer trying to run for the Illinois Senate, he loved him some private equity firms. Now that he's running against Mitt Romney who once worked in such a firm, they're eeeevil.

England has tried to create growth by raising taxes and spend its way out of debt and recession, and it hasn't exactly worked, out, according to the Cato institute. This is the Laffer curve:
It depicts how taxation affects growth. The more you tax a country, the more it damages growth, and the less you tax, the greater growth you get, to a certain point. The curve depicts how this works, with the ideal growth/revenue point postulated at a certain point. England is demonstrating this well, Allister Heath argues:
Something very worrying is happening to the UK’s public finances. Income tax and capital gains tax receipts fell by 7.3 per cent in May compared with a year ago, according to official figures. Over the first two months of the fiscal year, they are down by 0.5 per cent. This is merely the confirmation of a hugely important but largely overlooked trend: income and capital gains tax (CGT) receipts were stagnant in 2011-12, edging up by just £414m to £151.7bn, from £151.3bn, a rise of under 0.3 per cent. By contrast, overall tax receipts rose 3.9 per cent.
Raise taxes, pull in less revenue.

There's a lot of stupid people out there. Want proof? Someone created a "NeedADebitCard" category for Twitter and... people started posting their new debit cards with a picture of the card showing off their names and the numbers on the card. Since most function as a credit card and there are only 1000 variations of a 3 digit number (the security number on the back), that's all crooks need to steal your identity and spend your money. Idiots.

Re-electing President Obama is "absolutely essential" according to... the Communist Party, USA. Sure, they're disappointed he hasn't been leftist enough but they fear the Romney administration would slow the far left's advance through politics and culture.

College students are being told that the evil Republican party wants to raise their tuition fees and loan costs by a thousand dollars by President Obama and are being called all sorts of terrible things by the legacy media. At stakes was a bill to extend a 3.4% loan rate on student loans to a still-low just over 6%. This increase would have cost about $7 a month for an average college student, which over the payment period of the loan would total around $1000. In other words, not that much, but based on the left's rhetoric you'd think it was like cutting the hand off a college student.

Richard Feynman fought against bad science, activist-driven study, and sloppiness in his chosen field until the day he died. He would have been enraged by the climate change machine, based on his description of how good science is supposed to work:
In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.
In other words, you don't block people from getting your data, blacklist people who question you, call them names, or destroy data to keep it out of their hands, like the Climaquiddick emails showed. But its so much easier to just yell "denier," violate freedom of information laws, stonewall questions, and rake in that cash.

Oregon State University has made a big slash in oceanography with its "increasing ocean acidity" studies. It comes up a lot in Oregon politics and science, and the local news talks about a 30% increase in oceanic acidity because of global warming (naturally). Except... that's not true. Meteorologist Chuck Weise writes:
But as you know, the equation for the pH of an aqueous solution is logarithmic and defined as pH = -log[ H+ ] . As you also know, there are 14 orders of magnitude that define the pH scale from zero to fourteen units as per this equation. So a movement of .1 units towards acidity cannot equal a 30% increase in acidity as claimed in this article. It is actually .1/14 or only 7/10ths of 1%. In order for there to be the increase cited, the researchers solved it for the hydrogen ion concentration and computed that change instead and called it the change in acidity.
In other words, the increase is .07%, not 30%. But hey, its close, right? The NOAA should have known that but published the OSU study anyway. For the children.

Fact checking is the new, hot way to twist stories into your bias. Sometimes its amazing to see how these "fact check" efforts do it, too. Take the Washington Post for example (courtesy Big Journalism). They looked at a President Obama promise and found out he's not really lying. President Obama several times in 2008 promised that under his administration health insurance premiums would go down by an average of $2500 a year per family in America, in his first term. For example, he said:
When I am president, we will have universal health care in this country by the end of my first term in office. It's a plan that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family's premiums by $2,500 a year.
Romney ran an ad pointing out that the average premium has instead gone up by almost $2500. The Washington Post's reaction?
But note that Obama’s pledge came with an asterisk: He was not saying premiums would fall by that amount, as the Romney graphic asserts, but that costs would be that much lower than anticipated. In other words, if premiums were expected to rise by $5,000, they would only rise by $2,500 — that’s what Obama’s pledge meant, even if he was not too clear about it.
See, what President Obama really meant was that they wouldn't increase by as much as some said it would, even if that's not what he actually said. He was just being unclear, and Romney is therefore wrong for his ads.

Kelo vs New London was an awful decision, but governments love it because it lets them violate the basic right of property that all humans have. Control people's property, and you control them. Now, cities are looking at using eminent domain to seize property and give it back to people at lower payments. That money owed to the bank? Who cares, they're all evil anyway, right? But they better not go broke, or we'll find them guilty of something.

And that's the Word Around the Net for July 6 2012.

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