Monday, September 29, 2008

Interesting Times

But wait, we are a consumer economy.

It is simply unknowable how things will play out. But it can be stated that, in the absence of an outside threat, the American economy cannot keep itself afloat without outside sources of funding. So the spark may be an external change such as China or the Middle East dumping the dollar. Perhaps it will be the collapse of a Hispanic economy and a flood of refugees. Or maybe the American welfare state will simply run its course, causing the government to lose the ability to borrow money and collapsing the currency.

What happens then? It depends where you live. As agriculture is inherently stable, generating a tangible product, agricultural communities will be OK. The Grapes of Wrath is evidence that Anglos are, in fact, capable of helping on farms.

Cities are inherently unstable, more so with the advent of multiculturalism. The introduction of hunger to cities will set off a wave of ethnically-charged violence, similar to prison society but without the guards.

Cities are surrounded by suburbs, populated by productive Citizens with the resources and discipline to defend themselves. In a societal break-down, expect suburban communities to institute martial law and erect barriers to prevent the movement of looters from the cities into their neighborhoods. This will effectively contain and inflame urban chaos. Urban populations allowed to pass through the suburbs to the exurbs and country would not be well received.

And the system will come to equilibrium once again. People will die and lose their freedoms, just as has been done countless times before.

And then the American outlook brightens. Stripped of political baggage and having something called a new instinct for SURVIVAL running through our veins, whatever form our leadership will take will have options.

America is blessed to have four key resources:

1. 400 years of liquid energy in the form of oil shale.
2. Excess farmland.
3. Military hardware.
4. Millions and millions of good old Americans.

That’s all we need. It really doesn’t matter whether or not we pass this terrible bailout plan. All paths lead to the same place.

This is a fictional blog.

One Liberal's Legacy


His original independent label Charisma records had become absorbed into a major, and his success had attracted some "advisors" who were more than ready to relieve Julian of his income: "Control over your career is so important. How can you express yourself when other people are trying to do it for you?"

So Lennon quit. He spent the next few years living the life he had previously been denied during his punishing schedule. Relaxing in his lakeside house in Northern Italy.Cooking, Photography, Sailing, Travelling. Accumulating antiques, rifling through flea markets. Anything that didn't involve the dreaded 'm'-word.

During this time Julian even considered other career options: "I needed to think about a life outside the industry. I've always been interested in architecture, interior design, photography and cooking, but in the end I started playing again because of my love of music - and I didn't want to walk away from it all with the last four albums as My legacy!"

Saturday, September 27, 2008

John Lennon

Ah, people asking questions, lost in confusion
Well I tell them there’s no problem, only solutions
Well they shake their heads and they look at me as if I’ve lost my mind
I tell them there’s no hurry
I'm just sitting here doing time

I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go

I used to sing that song in a lounge. I meant it at the time.

Lennon’s circulatory system was ruptured by four 38-caliber hollow point bullets, entering through the back. He lost 80% of his blood and died. Mark Chapman pulled the trigger, he was a Beatles fan. Chapman was denied bail for the fifth time last month.

Indications of Late Term Democracy

1. There Was Not One Question on Illegal Immigration

Illegal immigration will bankrupt our form of government. It is not because Hispanics are bad people; they are not. It is because they have an average IQ of 87, approximately one standard deviation lower than indigenous Americans. The societies they have set up in Guatemala and Honduras reflect the aggregate capabilities of their populations. Wages in these countries are $3/day.

Hispanic immigration has benefited business and ethnocentric interest groups, but is unsustainable, as Hispanic families, on average, cost the taxpayer money. It is estimated that low-skill households cost the taxpayers $25,000 per family, per year.

The fact that we are unable to discuss the impacts of illegal immigration in a Presidential debate is an indication.

2. Both Candidates Agree to Bail Out the Banks

It is true that the banks are victims of political correctness, but nonetheless they went along with the plan and deserve to get creamed. There is a valid argument that not writing a $700 billion check could cause an economic collapse. I don’t know if the President’s argument is made in good faith or if it is made on behalf of his Wall Street friends.

The bad indication is that, outside of some southern Senators, there is consensus on the bailout. In a healthy democracy, legislators would be fighting over a transfer of $700 billion (plus) to a bunch of bankers.

As this transfer would only delay things, cause inflation, and make the day of reckoning worse, Brick Oven advocates “collapse here, collapse now” for weak banks. We also advocate preparedness for the Citizen. This includes food security, financial security, and physical security.

Economic recessions are a natural human cycle. When a system is put in place to prevent recessions, depressions become the natural human cycle. Throw in universal suffrage, and bankruptcy is the result. This is what we are witnessing.

Here’s an idea, let’s let Iraq oil bail out the Wall Street banks. It can also reimburse the American taxpayer, while we’re at it. To interesting times.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Tonight I made chicken soup with a $0.99/lb chicken ($3.50), some rice, and $1.50 worth of vegetables. It will feed us tomorrow too and was very good and healthy. The picture is of a bowl of yummy mashed potatoes. I grew them myself. If my family was on food stamps, I think we’d get $36/day.

I’m keeping my eye on that squirrel. Just for practice. And I can dig clams.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Children's Author

I did not know that before ‘The Blogs Are Out of Control’ Sheila became the FDIC Chairman, she wrote children’s books. Wow. Upon reflection, that probably makes it easier for her to make statements like she is still doing today:

“Given the change in economic conditions, we need to weight the more recent data more heavily,'' Bair says. “You also need a good dose of common sense.''

“We do have a handful with some significant challenges,'' she says. “Overall, banks are quite safe and sound.''

FDIC May Need $150 Billion Bailout .

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What is a Credit Default Swap?

Take back, your insurance, cause baby nothin’, is guaranteed.
-Tom Petty

Credit Default Swaps (CDSs) appear to me to be insurance policies that banks issued to each other. The only problem is that, while insurance companies are regulated and have to have a certain level of reserves, CDSs are issued by banks in an unregulated environment. And it seems there is nothing to back them up.

Read this link if you want to become uneasy.

$681 trillion is a lot of money.

This Is a Local Problem

Imposed on the rest of us.

Brick Oven calls for no bailout. A bailout would represent a transfer of wealth from those who work, purchase homes that they can afford, and generally live responsible lives to greedy bankers, irresponsible buyers, and a subgroup of people who did nothing wrong except have bad timing.

Protecting the third group does not justify the cost to the rest of us. Let the system crash. We will pick up the pieces and be stronger for it.

If the markets are forced to correct themselves now, or allowed to drift and forced to correct themselves more violently in two years, grown-ups will be forced to look objectively at what happened. The Federal Reserve chart above illustrates how wealth is eliminated. The red regions are those same regions with the inundated emergency rooms.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


More ‘The Blogs Are Out of Control’ Sheila:

"We are going to be raising premiums in early October, not shockingly but significantly,"

"I think, actually, the banking sector is holding up pretty well,"

"We're very strongly supportive of Treasury's initiatives. We're talking to them, we're talking to Congress. We think there should be a focus on home loans as well as securities ... how to get home loans restructured as part of this."

"They are looking at us as a consulting role ... and also giving Treasury the latitude to contract with us to dispose of the assets because that's what we do ... with closed banks,"

Monday, September 22, 2008

SIGET Analysis: Week 3

Philadelphia-Pittsburgh 3:46 1Q + 2Q

McNabb: Excellent-1; Terrific-1: SIGET Score=2
Rothlisberger: SIGET Score=0

Philadelphia wins 15-6.

More M3

From a PBS link:

"A second issue was also now at the fore -- the dollar. The price of gold had been fixed at $35 an ounce since the Roosevelt administration. But the growing U.S. balance-of-payments deficit meant that foreign governments were accumulating large amounts of dollars -- in aggregate volume far exceeding the U.S. government's stock of gold. These governments, or their central banks, could show up at any time at the "gold window" of the U.S. Treasury and insist on trading in their dollars for gold, which would precipitate a run. The issue was not theoretical. In the second week of August 1971, the British ambassador turned up at the Treasury Department to request that $3 billion be converted into gold."

Nixon’s answer was to go off the gold standard in 1972. This is the same date that the ‘M3’ number began to move away from the ‘M2’ number. In 2006, we stopped tracking the ‘M3’ number. Last week the government began to take absurd liberties with the printing press.

A good time to buy farmland.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Richard Flores

Richard Flores is a youth. He is probably misunderstood, and is no doubt known by some middle-aged female as, ‘a good boy, a very good boy’.

A bunch of people witnessed Richard throwing a hand grenade into a crowd a few months back in a Central American country that I am fond of. I think that there were some fatalities.

As Richard came out of court today, he tried to hide his face with a tee shirt. When he tried this, the police took away his tee-shirt and thrust his face in front of the waiting cameras. This does not bother me.

Is This Engineered?

‘M3’ was the figure used to track the total amount of money in circulation. When you look at M3 over time, you can see why inflation goes constantly up; they have kept printing money. The number is $8 trillion in 26 years, or $310 billion per year. On March 23, 2006, the Federal Reserve stopped tracking M3.

The Federal Reserve stated:
"M3 does not appear to convey any additional information about economic activity that is not already embodied in M2 and has not played a role in the monetary policy process for many years. Consequently, the Board judged that the costs of collecting the underlying data and publishing M3 outweigh the benefits."

Graphs of the number, formerly known as 'M3', would make for some pretty good visuals these days.

Paulson was in charge of Goldman Sachs, the company that designed many of the CDOs that we are now talking about buying, when they were originated. When those CDOs went bust, Goldman Sachs was not holding significant numbers of them and Paulson had already been confirmed as Treasury Secretary.

The public deserves to know what Goldman Sachs knew before we bail out the banking system to the tune of $30,000 per American family. In the absence of an honest discovery period, I say let them fail. We can still probably pick up the pieces in 2008. Delaying things will only make the day of reckoning worse.

p.s. Since the link above does not work on my computer, here is what the Federal Reserve said in 2006:

Discontinuance of M3

On March 23, 2006, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System will cease publication of the M3 monetary aggregate. The Board will also cease publishing the following components: large-denomination time deposits, repurchase agreements (RPs), and Eurodollars. The Board will continue to publish institutional money market mutual funds as a memorandum item in this release.

Measures of large-denomination time deposits will continue to be published by the Board in the Flow of Funds Accounts (Z.1 release) on a quarterly basis and in the H.8 release on a weekly basis (for commercial banks).

M3 does not appear to convey any additional information about economic activity that is not already embodied in M2 and has not played a role in the monetary policy process for many years. Consequently, the Board judged that the costs of collecting the underlying data and publishing M3 outweigh the benefits.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What in the World Has Happened to John Mellencamp?

Brick Oven endorses John Mellencamp’s older work, specifically mentioning I Need a Lover Who Won’t Drive Me Crazy. He was much better when he wrote songs about women, farms, and authority.

Note to self: Stay away from California.

Getting Closer

For about a year, we have been predicting an overall banking loss of $3 trillion on the housing market (30% of $10 trillion in mortgages). This number has been sliced and diced since (costs beyond the reduction in home value, actually initial number was $12 trillion, etc.), but the $3 trillion number still makes sense to me.

Lets look at the checkbook so far:
Paulson’s newest plan to buy up bad debt is $1 trillion; plus
A (stated) price tag for Freddie-Fannie of $200 billion; plus
$85 billion for AIG; plus
80% of AIG’s insurance exposure; plus
$120 billion in freshly minted cash; plus
All the previous freshly minted cash ($300 billion?*); plus
God knows what else

So the checkbook says $1.7 trillion plus AIG insurance exposure plus the real Freddie-Fannie exposure plus whatever else.

Brick Oven sticks with the $3 trillion estimate. Perhaps the future history books will be truthful and we can honestly assess our estimates.

* p.s. An evening newscast put this number at $500 billion.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Our Elected Representatives

Hyman Rickover said:

"A certain measure of courage in the private citizen also is necessary to the good conduct of the State. Otherwise men who have power through riches, intrigue, or office will administer the State at will, and ultimately to their private advantage. For the citizen, this courage means a frank exposition of a problem and a decrying of the excesses of power."

Rickover’s words can be directly applied to the current financial situation. Congress, the people who are supposed to be representing us, has thrown its hands in the air and left the decision making to Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke, both representatives of the banking industry.

And guess what? The banking industry’s bad debts have been transferred to the United States taxpayer. This happened first with Freddie-Fannie and next with AIG. The true cost of the AIG bailout is not the $85 billion. The true cost of the bailout is the fact that he taxpayer is now on the hook for 80% of all of the bad insurance policies that AIG used to be responsible for. This could be in the trillions, and most of it was not to be paid by Americans, it was to be paid by foreign investors. Oh, and the banks wrote themselves hundreds of billions in IOUs.

I will retain my belief that things happen for a reason, and that these events will prove to be a positive for the country. Given Medicare and general societal decline, the national credit rating was going away in any case. These events will accelerate that eventuality. The best thing that we, as private citizens, can do is be ready.


Almost two hundred years ago, a region that I am familiar with was anxious. The basis of the anxiety was the economy, specifically export restrictions on American products that were hurting the economy. There were only skirmishes at first as Napoleon occupied the King’s army’s time. But in 1813, it looked like Napoleon would probably lose and the war that America had declared would take a turn for the worse.

Despite the fact that this region was operating in open defiance of the United States government, by trading with Great Britain, people were still worried. The men must have gathered, most likely at the place I had a beer last night, and decided to build something. I walked to that thing yesterday. It is remote, even two hundred years later. You start out along a path.

Then the path bends to the right.

Then you come upon a clearing.

Then you come upon the thing. Note the drainage.

There is a door.

And you can open it.

This thing is a shelter, that the locals built to hide gunpowder from the British. Fortunately, they did not need to use it.

Alternative Energy

I’m playing with the up and down part of tidal energy since the Google boys are proposing to use it, at least in part, to power their floating barges.

British windmills produces 260kW on average. By my math, 1 kW of electricity can be produced by 31,400 cubic feet of displaced water pulling on a string (30 ft cube = 10 light bulbs when the tide is coming in, or 5 full-time with a battery).

One windmill is thus equal to a 250’ submerged cube of air, pulling on a machine to convert the force to electricity.

That is a really big cube. There is some potential for generating power with ships at anchor and we’re working on that for local applications. But stick with nuclear power to generate national electricity. Japan’s Oi nuclear complex alone has 4.5 GW of capacity. That is equal to 17,000 average windmills.

In total Japan has around 47 GW of nuclear capacity. This is like 180,000 ugly windmills. Japan reportedly plans to use 20% of its nuclear electricity to produce Hydrogen. This is smart of the Japanese as Hydrogen can run fuel-cells and Japan does not have oil shale deposits.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Hey, it’s the ‘Blogs are out of control’ Sheila again!

The fund, which is marking its 75th anniversary this year with a "Face Your Finances" campaign, is at $45.2 billion — the lowest level since 2003. At the same time, the number of troubled banks is at a five-year high.

FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair has not ruled out the possibility of going to the Treasury for a short-term loan at some point. But she has said she does not expect the FDIC to take the more drastic action of using a separate $30 billion credit line with Treasury — something that has never been done.

So Sheila has $45 billion in her checkbook and will, no doubt, order cake for her 75th Anniversary gala. Meanwhile, Washington Mutual is a $310 billion dollar bank. The article estimates that $20 billion of those assets (6%) are insured by FDIC. I don’t know if I believe that.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This Is Criminal

The Fed, an organization controlled by the same banks that originated bad loans and then transferred them to Freddie and Fannie, transferred $6 trillion of mortgage obligations to the US taxpayer in the F/F deal.

AIG insured an undisclosed percentage of the other $6 trillion in mortgage obligations. The Fed just ‘loaned’ AIG $85 billion in exchange for 80% of the exposure of those other $6 trillion in obligations.

That pretty much takes the banks off the hook for all of the bad loans, and transfers that exposure to you and me. We, by the way, cannot afford to make those obligations whole. As it is unlikely that federal revenues can be increased, and will probably decrease, the last option left is to inflate the currency. Gold-$780 is an excellent buy.

Isn’t it interesting that these deals are announced at night and on Sundays. Who gets to trade stocks at night and on Sundays? I can't.

Fatimah Ali

Fatimah Ali is now complaining about the attention she received after mentioning the words “race war”. No no no Fatimah!

You warned us of a “Full fledged race and class war”.

Those responses you received were from Americans who own a computer, read online news, and were confident enough in their literacy to respond to you electronically. America is a diverse nation. Just wait until the national credit rating goes kaput.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Eagles-Cowboys SIGET Datapoint

Game monitored from 11:01 2nd Quarter.

McNabb: Great-8 = SIGET Score of 8
Romo: Great-1; Excellent-3; Terrific-1 = SIGET Score of 5

Cowboys win 37-34. Noted that the first 3 Monday night games all had a black quarterback.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Admiral Hyman Rickover

This is the most amazing thing I’ve read on the Internet in two years. It is somewhat long.

Although Hyman Rickover would be disgusted with the state of the Country, he would be pleased to know that we have 2.1 trillion of the world’s 3.1 trillion barrels of oil shale deposits. That will give us a hundred plus year Mulligan.

Maybe someone thinks we deserve a second chance.

From the link:

"Another cause of declining civilization comes with pressure of population on available land. A point is reached where the land can no longer support both the people and their domestic animals. Horses and mules disappear first. Finally even the versatile water buffalo is displaced by man who is two and one half times as efficient an energy converter as are draft animals. It must always be remembered that while domestic animals and agricultural machines increase productivity per man, maximum productivity per acre is achieved only by intensive manual cultivation."

Thank You Glen Myers

Thursday, September 11, 2008

With Respect

Back that morning, I was on PST and doing volunteer work on a sign for my community before the sun came up. I observed one guy hand it over to Steeve Doocy and watched for probably half-an-hour. Then to the True Value hardware store to buy two American flags, one for the shop and one for the home.

Then back to the sewer contract, opening up manholes and measuring the depth with a dirty tape measure. Hearing the Pentagon get hit, and the towers fall, and the unbeknownst to me heroism over Pennsylvania from the pickup truck.

To Independence.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Brick Oven is going to go ahead and call NCM1. We’ve had some borderline instances since the Republican Convention, but the annunciation of the word ‘Enough!’ put this one over the top:

"See, it would be funny, but the news media decided that would be the lead story yesterday. This happens every election cycle. Every four years, this is what we do. This is what they want to spend two of the last 55 days talking about...Enough!" he said.

Obama called the attacks "lies, outrage and swift boat politics."

“Enough is enough.”

If events cause McCain to go up 15 points in the polls, Brick Oven will put in place a Jack Nicholson Moment Watch. This is a fascinating election cycle. Very good for America.

Peter R. Orszag

Peter Orszag, CBO director, said: “It is the CBO view that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be directly incorporated into the federal budget.”
-Peter R. Orszag, 09SEP08

Orszag said it's most likely that the companies will remain afloat and the government won't have to put up any money, but there's a very small possibility that Treasury will have to step in to help cover losses at Fannie and Freddie topping $100 billion. The $25 billion estimate reflects his office's best guess of how big a federal infusion would be needed.
-Peter R. Orszag, 22JUL08

Brick Oven calls for the arrest of Peter Orszag on the charge of grand theft. Brick Oven would be satisfied with a plea deal, that involves some jail time, so long as he cooperates completely to expose what happened at the housing banks.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

MPD Enforcer 2.0

Speaking of Police Officers;

Brick Oven supports MPD Enforcer 2.0.

The Internet is very powerful. MPD Enforcer 2.0’s ‘Dirk Diggler’ has his rear on the electronic line. And he won this one.

No Standing Room

I joined a sporting organization that is popular with policemen around eighteen months ago. Sometime the Feds join us for training. Eighteen months ago, the chairs were not full during membership meetings. Now there is no more standing room, and people hang out in the hall outside the room.

I think evolutionary forces have left a behavior trait that drives some men to organize in times of uncertainty. Similar to how game animals gather in the presence of a predator. The MSNBC prison series “Corocol’ is a good show if you get the chance. At Corocol, men of all races organize along racial lines for their common defense. Even the ones without prejudice.

Two separate groups are ‘northern Mexicans’ (European blood) and ‘southern Mexicans’ (Meso-American blood). The groups are recognized by prison staff and housed separately. Our illegal Mexican friends should learn to celebrate diversity and rally around the Mexican flag. I wonder if the prison staff is still required to attend diversity training.

When an inmate urinates in the common areas, two members of his own race guard his back. Tables in common areas are turf that is competed over. I found it interesting that the black prisoners had to sit on the grass. They were complaining to the TV crew.

It’s not a racial thing in my neck of the woods. If I were to speculate as to what it is, I would say the threat would be danger from economic uncertainty in the absence of a responsible government. I have a lot of confidence in the people who gather in that room.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Introducing SIGET Analysis

Football is a great sport as it gives each team the same amount of money and then they have to flat out compete. If a team wishes to win, there is no room for anything except excellence. Rush Limbaugh got criticized for saying things about the media’s wishes for a winning black quarterback.

I perceived this myself last season. This season we will test this theory with a sociology experiment we will call SIGET Analysis. SIGET is short for ‘Smart Intelligent Great Excellent Terrific’. Brick Oven will track the number of times these words are used to describe the two quarterbacks by the sportscasters. The references can be either to the quarterback or the quarterback’s performance.

I reserve the right to go back and forth to the refrigerator, but will try to do it at the time-outs. Data will be compiled and analyzed at the end of the season to determine if there is a bias among sportscasters.

SIGET Analysis for Week 1: Green Bay-Minnesota
Rogers (GB): Smart-1; Excellent-1; SIGET Score: 2
Jackson (MN): Terrific-1; Great-3; SIGET Score: 4
GB Wins 24-19
Notes: Game monitored from 3rd Quarter 12:00

SIGET Analysis for Week 1:Denver-Oakland
Cutler (Den): Great-2; Terrific-1; SIGET Score: 3
Russell (Oak): Smart-1; Great-1; SIGET Score: 2
Eddie Royal (Den): Smart-4 (for throwing the ball out of bounds on a flea flicker); SIGET Score: 4*
Den Winds 42-14

Notes: Game monitored from 1st Quarter 9:00; Russell is first-round draft pick in his second year of play and is embarrassing bad; began tracking use of the word ‘young’ mid 2nd quarter. The word ‘young’ was used 14 times after that.

* Royal’s SIGET Scoring will be applied to bias. His throwing the ball out-of-bounds will not be applied to scoring or game outcomes.

Ode to Elliot Grunewald

Several nights ago, I read a paper written by Elliot Grunewald of Stanford that is posted on the Internet. It is an intelligently written paper and I learned aspects of an issue that I am interested in. But I find many of his premises flawed and believe that his conclusions are dangerous.

I commented on the paper and called it ‘stupid’. I retract that word. Please attribute it to frustration associated with being in the permitting field, trying to make the world a better place, and having to negotiate roadblocks constantly placed by well-meaning but counterproductive people. One thing that burns me is when global warming proponents jet themselves around the world. I have removed my previous comments on his paper.

The answer is not name-calling. The answer is respectful challenge. So, to Elliot Grunewald, and his articulate supporters, here’s how I see the world. Peak oil is real and we have no replacement. We have no plan to create a replacement. The only ‘clean’ energy that I can think of that would meet our transportation needs is nuclear power creating hydrogen to power fuel cells, or nuclear power and electrified transportation corridors.

Until we face this, shale oil is the best alternative to the chaos that we will face when our society gets to the point where it cannot afford to feed itself.

If you see it differently, the floor is yours.

p.s. These guys are good. Brick Oven was #3 on the Elliot Grunewald Google search earlier today, I felt bad about it. Now it is invisible. So I'll put the picture back up.

That's All for That

Because my energy project will require the blessing of the federal government, would have powerful enemies in the private sector, and since my opinions expressed here could get me in trouble in the political arena, it is going off-line.

Today was spent going through existing patents and getting progress to date properly documented. I remain convinced that there is real potential for my work to be successful. My design is the best I’ve seen so far. Success for the project will be either selling a patent, or, I hope, actually building something. I will make good on the car thing if the project is successful.

As an incentive to continue reading my ramblings, the code will be a post labeled ‘Calling All Cars’. If you see this title, contact me and convince me that you are who you claim to be.

I will also give notice if the project crashes, burns, or flames out.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

USS Constitution

There is a show on about the USS Constitution. I kept it on because I used to know the CO of the USS Constitution. That, and the fact that I’ve recently become a big fan of the United States Constitution that was in place when her keel was laid.

I was a junior officer who had announced my intention to resign my commission and he was a mid-grade officer on the way out. We worked together (I did most, err, all of the work) to create doctrine that, to my knowledge, is still in use today. But he was a good guy.

There is a family story that one of my great grandparents was engaged to a descendent of John Paul Jones. I cannot claim the blood because, as the story goes, the descendent drowned and she married someone else. Thus my affection for beer. But I am very proud of my forefather nonetheless.

I had, in my mind, that John Paul Jones was the Captain of the USS Constitution. I was wrong. The Internet bursts bubbles.

This is the Navy’s Website for the still-in-commission USS Constitution. You can tell that the government runs it. It kind of bums me out that Googling ‘John Paul Jones’ gets you to Led Zeppelin.

I saw the Blue Angels today. I took my family there to witness excellence. John Paul will have his day.

13SEP08 p.s. Somebody fixed the USS Constitution web-site. Hooray! (and a sincere thank you to the hard-working person who actually did it).

Corvette Update

After talking with legal council, in patent disputes, the successful party needs a good ‘story’, which includes witnesses. So you may have to work for that Corvette, like writing a letter about what you have witnessed here.

Tomorrow to the notary, to the safety deposit box, and the Senator’s office. Tonight is figuring out how big of an oil lease will be necessary to cover the costs of the equipment. The plan is withstanding scrutiny.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Tblisi International Airport

I’ve been looking at Google Earth Tbsili International Airport images again. There are zero commercial aircraft there. There are Gulfstreams and helicopters. Some of the photo references are dated 2007.

p.s. Via Orbitz, you can book a flight to Tbsili. Google Earth may be outdated, or I might be looking at the wrong airstrip, or the flights there may be infrequent. But it is a very big tarmac with a few Gulfstreams and helicopters. With no commercial airplanes.

More Sheila

Hey, it’s ‘The Blogs Are Out of Control’ Sheila again!

"By the fall and winter 2006, we were looking at this market pretty hard," [Sheila] said. There were very low down payments, loans that never verified the borrower's income, poor disclosure and huge payment shocks. "It was pretty eye-popping, some of the stuff we were seeing. We couldn't believe it."

Um, Sheila, I think you were in a position to do something about 'it'.

"If the agency gets through the credit mess, having handled the bank failures that are to come, she is going to be widely seen as the person who prepared the agency for this," said Jaret Seiberg, a financial policy analyst for the Stanford Group, in Washington. "If the cycle is worse than expected - and if the agency insurance fund isn't big enough or they didn't have enough examiners - she will become the fall guy."

Sheila Bair anticipated the mortgage crisis long before most other regulators. But she never dreamed it would wreak so much havoc on so many banks. More than a year after the credit crisis first flared, Bair, the chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., warned last week that the outlook for the ailing banking industry was bad - and getting worse.

Sheila is pretty dumb for saying that she was studying the housing market closely at the end of 2006.

Georgia Revisited

Brick Oven postulated that the invasion of Georgia was a move by Russia to destroy the military ability to defend the land-bridge that connects Middle Eastern oil to the West. I stand by that premise. But the continued US-Russia bickering is confusing. It is very dangerous when people with guns in the immediate vicinity of each other are bickering.

Here is a theory, based on the assumption that Israel will hit Iran after the election. How would Israel route their aircraft? Over Iraqi airspace? Jews using a sovereign Muslim country’s airspace to kill Muslims? Shiite Muslims even. Sistani would go nuts, Iraq would explode, whatever is left of Bush’s legacy would be gone, and the PR would hinder follow-up strikes.

Georgia makes sense when you think about it. Route in the aircraft over international waters when the time comes. Once on station, Iran is just to the south. Refueling problems no more. Quick aircraft turn arounds. If you ‘Google Earth’ Tblisi International Airport (eastern-central Georgia), you find that, to the north of it, there is a military base, or at least a bunch of helicopters parked in what appears to be military formation.

I think the Russians bombed this facility in August. Check out how large the tarmac is for so few planes.

But it brings up the question: With the Georgian army destroyed, what would happen if Iran declared war on Georgia and invaded, with the silent support of Russia?

Friday, September 5, 2008

I Recommend the Corvette

Bill just finished drafting a schematic by which oil can be produced for $15/bbl (plus leasing rights), $10/bbl cheaper than Shell Oil. None of the environmental problems with Professor Volkov’s design. Bill has a brother who is a patent attorney. If this works out, I will buy a five-figure car of your choice for everyone who ever left a comment here (up till now). George gets his mortgage paid off and a .45 with a pallet of ammunition in addition to the car. More once the paperwork is filed.

Meet Elliot Grunewald

Eduard Volkov

“The primary cost of synthetic oil at our plant is around $US16 per barrel while the world price of oil now exceeds $US 100.”

In this Powerpoint presentation, Professor Volkov details how the Russians are producing high quality liquid fuels from oil shale at $14-$17 per barrel. The Soviets first pulled this off in the 1970s. The plant currently produces 1.5 million barrels per year.

If you read the presentation you will find that our Rock River deposits are richer than the Russian shale, and contain less sulfur, meaning that it is cleaner.

The Real Jobs Report

Value Producing Jobs:

Construction: minus 8,000
Manufacturing: minus 61,000
Retail: minus 20,000
Professional and Business Services: minus 53,000

Value Consuming Jobs:

Education and Health Services: plus 55,000
Government: plus 17,000

The real number is not 84,000, it is 214,000. This is nothing new. Our society has gotten everything it has asked for.

I went to Cabela’s yesterday at 6pm. There were 21 cash registers and one was open. When I walked in, there was one person at that cash register. When I walked out there was again only one person at the one cash register. They were buying birdfeed.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bill Had a Nice Day

Today I’ve been a geographic bachelor and decided to go to the range and celebrate the Bill of Rights. One guy there had a 50-caliber rifle. They are very loud. I interacted with several people and really enjoyed it.

Then to Panera, catching up on the state of the world. I believe that exercising the 2nd Amendment is good for a person’s character. The men at Panera do not seem as confident as the one’s I spoke with earlier. I think that the effect of exposure to firearms is part of Sarah Palin’s appeal.

I’ve got a Springfield 1911. I wanted a S&W M&P 45, but the pawn shop owner who owed me a favor didn’t have one so I got the 1911. In retrospect, I really like it and I’m glad he didn’t have what I wanted. But I do notice that every seventh or so clip; the last round hangs up in the chamber. I don’t know if this is common in all 1911s or if there is something I can do to prevent it.

I can’t decide if the 1911 is more complicated or more simple than the S&W M&P line. It took me a while to get comfortable breaking it down, but there are no little parts. In any case, my pistol of choice is the 1911. When I was a kid, my dad told me stories about the one he carried in the military. The link below is very good.



I have been banished from a web-site endorsed by James Carville, Paul Krugman, Bill Clinton, and the Washington Post. The image of the person who zapped me is above. I wrote this:

“Sarah wasn’t reading from a teleprompter, she was speaking. I don’t know if her teleprompter worked or not, but even if it did, it was a backup.

The problem I have with Obama is the dramatically different voice patterns when he is on the teleprompter and when he is not. That and when he is on the teleprompter, he is reading from it, not using it as a backup.

Shell thinks that they can make a profit from oil shale at $30/bbl. The pyrolysis process actually removes oil from rock, cleaning the land. The conspiracy-theory part of me believes that the oil companies like $100/bbl oil and are suppressing the technology.

Palin seems to be a person who would say bullshit to that. I judge that Barack, on the other hand, would be willing to take his cut. I really thought Palin was excellent.”

I notice that right-wing web sites tend to embrace controversy and left-wing web sites tend to silence it. I think that means that there is more truth on the right. I could beat up the guy who banished me, which is comforting.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sarah Palin

That was pretty good.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Can't We All Get Along?

A journalist named Fatimah Ali has warned that the United States faces a;

‘full-fledged race and class war’

if the electorate does not install Barack Obama as President. I believe that this is because her ancestors evolved in a tribal environment. Her allegiances seem to be to her race and I believe that this has to do with DNA that has not been tested by the agricultural and industrial societies that have helped form the indigenous American DNA that helps us get along fairly well.

Fatimah seems to count lower-class whites among her ranks. I also attribute this to a brain that has not developed to modern Western standards. If she would look at prison populations, she would find that lower-class whites align themselves tightly by race.

I like to hang out with bikers from time to time at a blue-collar bar. Many of these bikers are struggling financially. Despite the fact that I have worked hard, had some success in my life, and am solidly middle-class, we all get along really well. I would go as far as to say that the bikers are less tolerant than most upper-class whites that I know.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Oil Shale 2

This is a very good write up on the potential for oil shale to address our energy needs. In a nutshell, oil shale contains something called solid Kerogen. Solid Kerogen contains the solar energy collected by life over millions of years.

By heating up solid Kerogen, you cause a process called pyrolysis to take place. Pyrolysis coverts solid Kerogen to Kerogen gas. Pyrolysis is also the process by which wood burns. The fire heats the wood up to the point where pyrolysis converts the wood into a combustable gas. It is the gas that burns.

There is enough energy in oil shale to provide our liquid fuel for 300 years at $25/barrel, according to the government link.

If you listen to Rush Limbaugh he is very pro-oil companies. He also makes $50 million dollars a year. I find it hard to believe that he makes $50 million a year selling select-comfort mattresses and Nevada incorporation paperwork.

The picture is of Shell’s experimental oil shale facility in Colorado. If it were to be successful, it would solve the peak oil problem and drop oil prices by half.

Sarah Palin

I can’t figure out if the substance on the orange gloves is dirt or fish guts. In either case, it has the power to resonate with people who work for a living.