Wednesday, April 30, 2008


The numbers show the ‘growth’ was 0.6% for the quarter, indexed in dollars. But they do not show that the dollar is down from 0.679 Euros in January to 0.634 Euros in April.

If our quarterly growth was indexed in Euros it would show a contraction of 6.1%.

If our quarterly growth was indexed in oil, it would show a contraction of around 20%.

Even at gold-$850, if our quarterly growth was indexed in gold, it would show a contraction of 5.4%.

The economy is shrinking.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Theory to Practice

Last summer, Brick Oven predicted that the overall drop in home values would be 30%. Let’s see how it’s going using the Case-Schiller Index:

City/Peak Date/Drop Percentage

Pheonix/June 2006/31%
Los Angeles/September 2006/27%
Denver/August 2006/10%
Chicago/September 2006/10%
New York/June 2006/9%
Cleveland/September 2005/15%

Composite/June 2006/19%

The most remarkable thing about the data is that the drop is markedly accelerating. The composite month-over-month drop last fall was 0.5% per month. In February, the composite drop was 2.7% and accelerating.

At that rate the current composite drop is 25%. I’m adjusting my estimate of the overall drop to 37%.

Goldman Sachs had estimated mortgage losses to be $300 billion. Actual losses to date have been 25% of $20 trillion, or $5 trillion, split between home equity and mortgage holders. My estimate of overall loss now exceeds $7 trillion, not counting the falling value of the dollar, which is a whole different subject.

Wall Street is misrepresenting the data in order to prevent panic. Panic would cost them money. Here’s the data:

30 APR Update:

Does the LA Times read Brick Oven? Probably not, they’re still a little low.

Just out- Disappearing Now: $6 Trillion in Housing Wealth

Virginia Tech

"It might as well be the public policy in Virginia that if you're not a convicted felon, we want you armed to the teeth,"
-Kenneth Melvin, Virginia Democrat, reacting to the Virginia Tech anniversary

If every Virginian non-felon was armed to the teeth, Mr. Cho would have been blown away in the first classroom.

Cho wasn’t too smart. Knowing his intentions, he would have purchased a heavier caliber if he were smart. His plays were stupid too.

I sure wish the government would release Mr. Cho’s manifesto. There is no reason to keep it secret.

Mr. Cho’s dad worked in Saudi Arabia. It is likely that the manifesto contained Islamic references and thus the secrecy. We can handle it President Bush. Please be open with us.


“We’re in a transition period.”


“Friendly guy in the Rose Garden.”

“We’re in a long struggle with a group of ideologues.”

“Its up to Hamas to change.”

I’ve been well-led at times in my life. I miss leadership. Maybe it’s better to do without it for a while. Mohammed has beaten President Bush. President Bush can’t bring himself to understand the ideology. He’s too emotionally invested to want to understand the ideology at this point.

President Bush is not as stupid as people make him out to be. His facial expressions worry me. There is bad news that he is not sharing with us about the nature of the transition period. He should have two beers and be honest with us. It is the government’s job to be honest with us.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Faking It

I’m a big fan of the United States Marine Corps. I PT’d with the Marines in college although my specialty would take me elsewhere. I roomed with four Marines (the squad I led beat them all in drill competition though, ha ha).

But I would never wear USMC clothing. I felt that that was reserved for those who had earned the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor.

Obama is really starting to piss me off.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Scavengers roam around and eat dead food. Humans have not traditionally been scavengers, we have been hunters, gatherers, and farmers. Both sets of my grandparents killed their own meat, either by raising animals, hunting, or fishing. They also raised their own gardens and canned the produce.

The vast majority of modern Americans have literally become scavengers. They collect food at stores and restaurants. This is inherently a less stable system as the food chain has become increasingly long, dependent on oil, and vulnerable to crop failure. Urban populations have become completely dependent on others for food.

The United Nations estimates that the world population will rise to 9 billion by 2050. It won’t. The current rice panic is just the beginning. Those do-gooders who feed dependent populations without insisting on population controls are committing crimes against humanity on a scale that dwarfs anything that Hitler could have imagined.

Grow a garden. Store grains.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Faction: Federalist 9 and 10

The Federalist was the sales brochure for the United States Constitution authored by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay under the penname Publius. In a sane world, it would be required reading in High School as it represents the what was probably the highest level political thought achieved in the Second Millennium AD.

Hamilton wrote #9 and Madison wrote #10. In #10 Madison speaks of the natural factions that emerge in European society between the classes and proposes a series of elected representatives (‘Representative Republic’) in place of a ‘Democracy’ to manage the naturally-occurring effects of faction in society.

The electorate that Madison tailored the Constitution to was far different from today’s electorate though. It is estimated that only 25% of adult males met the property and/or taxation requirements to be eligible to vote in Madison’s day. A far cry from today’s universal suffrage that has resulted in the current campaign of ‘ask what your country can do for you.’

Madison closes on an eerie note:

A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it; in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district, than an entire State.

Read Federalist #10:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Enlightenments

Enlightenment practitioners were called “schoolmen”, or “scholastics”. In the 1500s-1700s, scholastics insisted upon pairing logic and faith. One debating tool they used were examples of successful foreign cultures. These were used to question the underpinnings of the Catholic faith. Cannibalism in Brazil was one such example.

Galileo paired logic and observation in 1632 when he challenged the premise that the sun revolved around the earth. The Church succeeded in shutting Galileo up, but his movement became more firmly founded.

One modern equivalent of the 1500s Catholic Church is multiculturalism, or more properly defined, The Nurturing Age ©. Scholastics who openly question the premise that ‘all men are created equal’ are fired from their jobs and silenced. James D. Watson is a recent example of this.

The Nurturing Age will end with our national government’s credit rating. The future is hard to predict. But in America-2008, logic and resources are pretty closely aligned, suggesting the coming of a new enlightenment.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Book Review: Problems Facing Our Socialism, by Barack H. Obama

Problems Facing Our Socialism is a short work written by the Harvard-trained father of our current Presidential candidate. He provides deep social commentary on 1965 Kenyan politics, two years after abandoning his namesake son:

“Can one deny that the African, while not pleased with the system, did not covet the high place given the European or Asian?”

Mr. Obama is sensitive to the skin color of Kenya’s entrepreneurs:

“One need not be a Kenyan to note that nearly all commercial enterprises from small shops in River Road to big shops in Government Road and that industries in the Industrial Areas of Nairobi are mostly owned by Asians and Europeans.”

And provides a solution:

“How then can we say that we are going to be indiscriminant in rectifying these imbalances? We have to give the African his place…”

Obama Sr. held high government positions for a while, was demoted to a position in a Kenyan water department, which he lost. He died a drunk. He was the father of eight children by four different wives.

A Contrarian View of Problems Facing Our Socialism by Dr. Raymond Omwami

"The critics of this article are making a big mistake," says Omwami, who read the document and the associated internet debate at the request of Politico over the weekend. "They are assuming Obama Sr. is the one who came up with this concept of African socialism, but that's totally wrong. Based on that, they're imbuing in him the idea that he himself is a socialist, but he is not."

Omwami says he'd instead refer to Obama Sr. as "a liberal person who believed in market forces, but understood its limitations."

"If you understand the Kenyan context, you can clearly see in that paper that Obama Sr. was quite a sharp mind," concluded Omwami. "He addresses economic growth and other areas of development, and his critique is that policymakers in Kenya were overemphasizing economic growth. We had high economic growth for years, but never solved the problems of poverty, unemployment and unequal income distribution. And those problems are still there."

Obama Sr.'s projections and critiques are so spot on, says Omwami, that he plans on assigning the paper to his classes in the future.

Omwami is currently a Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles and a former member of the World Bank.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Airplanes are cool. That’s why people and capital have been drawn to the airline industry, resulting in over-capacity. Which explains why the industry as a whole hasn’t made a cent since its inception.

If you want to make money; go into processing government permits, or garbage collection, or accounting. If you are successful, a good long-term investment is farmland.

Fair winds, Northwest.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Six Shooters

I went to a prole school. But after that prole school, I went through a very challenging program where graduates of prole schools competed with graduates of military academies as well as fancy schools. An interesting note: the guys from the military academies had the lowest aggregate grade point average, but they also had the lowest failure rate. I attribute this to the standardized discipline that comes with years of drill.

Anyway, we had one guy from Harvard in the class and he failed out early. When you failed out of this place, they purposely made it embarrassing for the student. You had to pack up your desk in the presence of the class and walk out the door. Most guys would empty their desks in silence and say something like ‘good luck’ on the way out.

The Harvard guy wouldn’t shut up. We got to hear about how stupid the program was and how the teachers were dumb and how he was glad to be leaving. He stomped out and slammed the door.

I judge that his arrogance is similar to Obama’s. The lack of discipline that led Barack to smoke into his 40s is the same lack of discipline that led to his revealing comments in San Francisco. There will be more of these comments and the free ride is over.

You don’t go duck hunting with a six-shooter. If the Maine caucuses were held again today, Obama would lose.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Kids are great and productive people should be encouraged to have many of them. One thing that I notice is the innate fear of strangers that has been ‘bred into’ kids. This behavior is the result of millions of years of evolution where through countless societies and environments, trusting children were removed from the gene pool. The kid on the right does not seem to be nearly as excited about this picture as the photographer probably was.

In this sense, infants are more intelligent than most modern-day Ivy League graduates.

The nature of evolution has fundamentally changed with the advent of modern medicine. Poor women in India are renting out their wombs for embryos of wealthy Europeans and Americans. The fee is $5,000 and the business is growing. It is completely consistent with human behavior that this practice will be adopted by some state in our generation.

Odds are that Russia will be first. Perhaps South Africa after the collapse of the West. I’ll put a side bet on some religious group that relocates to a tropical country. Societies that adopt this practice will outperform those who don’t and prevail in the game of life. Future generations of enslaved women will be used to breed desirable Citizens. It’s not pretty, but neither are we.


"What is absolutely true is that people don't feel like they're being listened to, so they pray and they count on each other and they count on their families. You know this in your own lives. And what we need is a federal government that is actually paying attention. A government that is fighting for working people day in and day out making sure that we are trying to allow them to live out the American dream and that's what this campaign is about."
-Barack Obama

"It is the people, to whom all authority belongs."
-Thomas Jefferson

Socialism has been proven to be a workable solution in Scandinavian countries with a Protestant work ethic and no significant immigrant presence. Tried elsewhere, it has historically produced stacks of skulls.

Tried in America-2008, socialism may end up being a stimulus for the airline industry.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Welcome to My World

'And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations'...

Some more realistic reasons for the frustrations with people who ‘aren’t like them’ are:

1. ‘These people’ are 800% more likely to commit crimes;
2. 70+% of children born to ‘these people’ don’t have fathers;
3. When ‘these people’ move into an area like, say Detroit, housing prices drop to the current median home value of $22,000;
4. Schools break down in the presence of ‘these people’s’ children;
5. ‘These people’ demand and receive special treatment, including hundreds of billions of taxpayer money, and then continue to bitch;
6. We didn’t have weekly Interstate shoot-outs before ‘these people’ were welcomed into the Country;
7. In general, small-town Americans recognize that immigrant communities quickly come to look like society in the immigrant’s country-of-origin. And most small-town Americans have no desire to live in Somalia.

And when ‘these people’ hoot and holler at church when their leader screams ‘God Damn America’, that doesn’t sit well either. Don’t flatter yourself Barack; we’re not scared, just unimpressed.

Your typical religious gun-owning American, bred into me just the way I is.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Latin America and Globalization

Societies run more efficiently with an underclass that is forced to work to survive. We had one version of this before the Great Society programs. The Founding Fathers established what was probably the fairest system of government in all of history. We’re trying another version now by allowing waves of unskilled immigrants to settle. But this version is failing because of the presence of generous welfare benefits. Wages in Guatemala are $3/day and food stamp benefits in America are ~$10/day.

The goal of the globalists is to break our Treasury and replace our form of government with something similar to the Latin American model. Paramilitary forces are nothing more than an efficient way to impose the will of the ruling class. Liberals do not understand that under the system they are facilitating, the people they pretend to care about would be enslaved.

I don’t think the globalists will succeed though. Washington had no historical precedent and only 2,000 men at the end of 1776. America today has probably thirty million armed men who care about their freedoms. The standing army would most likely side against the globalists. We have the original Constitution and Bill of Rights to fall back upon. Nothing will change until the money runs out, but my vote this fall will be for the Constitution Party.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Dumb and Dumber

There are four types of people:

#1: Consciously competent people;
#2: Unconsciously competent people;
#3: Consciously incompetent people; and
#4: Unconsciously incompetent people.

We should all aspire to be #2s. Hannity is a #4. How did he get that job?

Update: Just heard Voight speak. He is not dumb. The reference was to Colmes.

Monday, April 7, 2008



We hereby declare and make absolute public declaration that operates under the first amendment right to freedom of religion and expression and that in no, way, shape or form do we call for war against the U.S. government or adhere to the enemies of the United States elsewhere. We do however hold the belief, as stated honestly and openly in our mission statement, that the Muslim world should be permitted to unite under the banner of Islam.

Thanks for the ‘public’ declaration Abdullah, nice AK-47.

Keep on enjoying that 1st Amendment.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

American Leadership

I have had the blessing to be well led during my time in the military. I’ve held some military leadership positions too, and wasn’t anything special. But nobody got hurt and the work got done. Well, OK, two guys had accidents and ended up in the hospital, but I’m still walking and so is the other guy. Unfortunately, Washington politics seem to enter the equation at the O-5 paygrade. Maybe the next generational battle cry will be “don’t trust anybody over O-4”. But nonetheless, our military breeds leaders. The one above is a United States Marine.

There is also plenty of leadership in America’s private sector. The smartest people I’ve met seem to be drawn to the risk and reward associated with putting out their own shingle and making a go of it. Look at a successful earthwork contractor, or plumber, or machine-shop owner in America, and that thing you see is leadership. There are millions of these guys.

Unfortunately our system for selecting national leadership has been broken by a combination of forces. Some of these forces were foolish people with good intentions, others were people who meant to damage the Country.

Leading us to the decision between John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. Congratulations to those whose goal was to push the Country to this point. Things will get more interesting when the money runs out though. Fortunately for us, there’s still plenty of there there.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Other

Absolut is owned by the French beverage company, Pernod Ricard. Other brands Pernod Ricard owns include:

Wild Turkey
Chivas Regal
Havana Club
Jacob’s Creek

Natural Ice beer maintains its Missouri roots. Phew. Or better yet, make your own still!

The Real Employment Report

Numbers of wealth-producing jobs:

1. Minus 48 thousand construction jobs
2. Minus 51 thousand manufacturing jobs
3. Minus 35 thousand professional and business service jobs

Net loss: 134,000 wealth producing jobs.

Numbers of wealth-consuming jobs:

1. Plus 42 thousand education and health services jobs
2. Plus 18 thousand leisure and hospitality jobs
3. Plus 18 thousand government jobs

Net loss: 68,000 wealth-consuming jobs.

Manufacturing is down 310,000 jobs for the year. Local taxes are to rise 6% this year.

Pre-Revolutionary France, Today, and Tomorrow

Pre-Revolutionary French politics consisted of three equally represented political voices:

The First Estate (Clergy)
The Second Estate (Nobility)
The Third Estate (everybody else)

In the run-up, thirty Parisians (probably white wine drinkers) argued that the Third Estate should get two votes because of the numbers of people it represents. Later demands included one-man, one-vote.

France in the 1780s was in deep debt and things reached a crisis point as the prices of grain jumped. Some segments of society were brought to starvation. Things went from there and Robespierre did his thing and then lost his head.

The difference between 1785 and 2008 is that the ability of the modern Third Estate to organize has been removed through the mechanism of internal ethnocentric friction. The Democratic primary is starting to show the biological fissures.

France settled back into Monarchy after the smoke cleared, even in the presence of a homogeneous Third Estate. We will likely end up further to the right. I believe that this is by design. The best hope for a more equitable future is the 2nd Amendment.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Eye on Paulson

“Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson indicated the Bush administration is willing to consider congressional plans to stem foreclosures by expanding government guarantees for mortgages.”

When the price tag for the Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs) becomes clearer, there will be litigation. The plaintiffs will argue that they are victims of fraud and that the CDO originators should be forced to buy back the CDOs at face value, as is a normal part of these transactions.

One of the biggest CDO originators is Goldman Sachs who, notably, was not holding them when they crashed. Leading one to strongly suspect that there were misrepresentations made and Goldman Sachs knew it. Henry Paulson was heading Goldman Sachs during the time when the majority of the bad CDOs were originated.

It is possible that those found guilty would be personably liable for damages and Paulson would be front and center in the discovery process. Therefore the Treasury Department spending your money in an attempt to keep people from walking away from upside down houses.

I predict that they will fail and that Paulson will be deposed for his work at Goldman Sachs.