Saturday, January 31, 2009

Part 2: “And Why I Don’t Really Fear This”

I’m an ROTC graduate and spent time in the military as a junior officer. There is something that happens to officers when they achieve the rank of O-5 (Army Lt Colonel, Navy Commander). It was commonly referred to as the ‘O-5’ lobotomy in the circles I operated in.

My theory on this is that these officers ‘chop’ to a different superior at this rank. Junior officers are judged by the performance of their units and their bias is thus towards their units, in the hopes of maximizing unit performance.

In the United States, the military reports to civilian leadership so, to advance past O-5, a different set of people need to be impressed. For the better part of two decades at least, civilian leadership has been more concerned with military politics than it has military efficiency. I had drinks with several O-6s a couple of years ago, and these guys are wired tight.

So, in the theoretical situation* where Obama wanted to win over the hearts and minds of the enlisted men and junior officers to overtake military leadership, dispose of the ‘deeply flawed’ Constitution, and bring on an era of glorious communism, he has it all wrong. The guys he needs to watch out for are the O-1 to O-4 types, and I would also add the front-line enlisted men.

And these guys, in my experience, are far closer to Ron Paul than they are to Barack Obama.

*I repeat that this is nothing more than speculation from a speech which I probably misheard.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Geithner’s best man at his wedding was his dad.

Geithner’s new Chief of Staff is a lobbyist from Goldman Sachs.

Geithner received $435,668 on the way out of the Federal Reserve, this was not a ‘bonus’, this was a ‘severance’.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Introducing the PPI @ $1.57

The PPI is the Pizza Price Index, referring to this post from earlier in the month. It is indexed to the prices at my local Sam’s Club. Previous work was based on my cost estimates of the various elements of pizza which were:

Can of Crushed Tomatoes: $2.50
Five Pounds of Cheese: $12
720 Slices of Pepperoni: $8.86
Bulk Flour: $0.40/lb

Using these entering arguments, we came up with a pizza cost of $1.81. The wife sent me to Sam’s today to get more cheese, and I noted something startling: the price of cheese has gone down. I attribute this to the election of Barack Obama.

Part-skim was cheaper than whole milk, which I never have seen before. 5 pounds were $9.72 (a). This caused me to take a greater interest in the exact prices of the other ingredients, so here we go:

102 oz tomatoes: $2.43 (b)
25 lb flour: $9.78 (c)
720 Slice of Pepperoni: $7.76 (d) (this is also down from earlier this month, as I remember it. Must be the President)

Enter the PPI equation:

PPI = $0.01 + (a)/10 + ((b)/24)(2) + (c)/50 + (d)/40; or

PPI = $0.01 + $0.97 + $0.20 + $0.20 + $0.19

Which gives us a 29JAN09 PPI of $1.57. This is a more accurate, but definitely lower PPI than we had earlier in the month. We will track the PPI with time.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Adventures With Bill

So there I was, sleeping. The toddler ripped my left lens out of my glasses, bent the frame, and hid the lens. We looked for that thing for a week as I endured old contact lenses and bloodshot eyes.

Mom does not like having the pacifier hit the floor, so attached it to some clamp thing that attaches the pacifier to the little outfits with a lanyard. The kid holds the pacifier end and starts swinging the lanyard, blindsiding me in the left eyeball with the clamp thing. Pain. Blood red. Wife cannot look at me without turning away in horror.

Four days later to the eye doctor to get a new prescription for glasses. There the doctor informs me that my eye, in fact did close, and was rolling up into my head as the blow was landed. No permanent damage. The human body is amazing to me.

Then to Sears, without the wife, because I do not want input on which glasses I want. I want two pairs because I kind of think that I’d like to have a spare pair around the house, say, in case civilization breaks down in the next few years. I pick out a pair of frames that I like and hand them to the lady behind the counter, saying I want two sets.

She responds that if I am getting two pairs of glasses, it makes no sense to get two of the same style. You can’t get away from this crap. So I spend the money for two new sets of glasses.

And then the kid brings back the original lens. Now I have three pairs of glasses.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Go Blago Go Go Go, Blago Be Good, Part 2

I find myself agreeing with Blago. The FBI should make available to him the recordings that they are holding. It is creepy that Blago’s name is written into Obama’s stimulus plan before any judgment.

If I feel this way, the odds of Blago getting a hung jury in Chicago are excellent. He might even be acquitted. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd actually accepted compensation.

Blago is angry about Obama’s stimulus plan including him by name. His will be a very good and lucrative book.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Go Blago Go Go Go. Blago Be Good.

My first job outside the neighborhood was as a courier in the City of Chicago. I remember the first time a black person asked me for money. I said no and felt guilty about it for days. Eventually I got over my guilt and just kept walking when somebody asked me for a part of the sub-minimum wage which I was earning.

I am getting angry at all the smart people on the TV mocking Blago. Blago may very well be crazy, but his legal strategy is good, and based in the reality that is Chicago. The Chicago jury pool is 40% white, meaning that there will probably be seven non-white jurors. Of the remaining five jurors, two or three will be females.

The Blank Slate theory states that all human brains stopped evolving 30,000 years ago, and that our cultures then form our individual personalities and abilities. Under the Blank Slate theory, all injustices are then attributed to an oppressive culture, instead of biological differences. More than ten percent of the Chicago jury pool are big time believers in the Blank Slate theory.

I predict the Blago trial will end with a hung jury, and no jail time. Think I am being too tough of the jury pool? This is their elected representative . The Blago trial is a good example of why Abraham Lincoln judged that only productive males were qualified to sit on juries.

My preference would be for Blago to lose his job and then be acquitted. This way he would need money. The skankier his book, the more money the publisher will offer him for it. I hope his book is really, really skanky.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


We live in a very modest house and have a growing family. As far as I can tell, we are functional. I wouldn’t call myself happy, because I don’t trust men who seem to be outwardly happy, but they seem to be, and I am living an interesting life.

So the wife wants a bigger house and finds a McMansion on the Internet. I agree to look. It is a big, blocky house. It belongs to a recently divorced couple with four children. The two youngest daughters were in the kitchen cleaning things and are the only ones home. There is an empty look in their eyes.

I drink cheap beer. There are bottles of Samuel Adams on top of the granite kitchen island.

As we walk upstairs, the agent notes that there may need to be some patch-up work on the drywall. I note that the cracks extend from the corners of the doorways at 45 degree angles, indicating that the cracks are from settlement shifting the frame of the house. The point of the highest stress is at the corners of the doorways. I do not say anything.

The settlement could have been from poor compaction over granular soil, in which case it has probably stopped. Or the settlement could have been from an inadequate foundation on clay soils, in which case the settlement would continue. I ask the agent about the soils around the house for this and gardening purposes, and he does not know.

Then we go to the basement. In my home, we have a 250 gallon fuel oil tank. This house has 660 gallons of fuel oil storage.

Then back to the kitchen, where the teenage girls are still cleaning things. They talk about moving and I, trying to be social, ask them where they are moving to. They answered not with a place, but with a structure. They are moving to a duplex.

We are not buying that house. I feel very bad about those teenage girls.

FOX News

Good God. They are reporting that there is no organic material in the US Airways engine, but that there is ‘soft body’ material in the engine. 'Organic material' is what living creatures are made of.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What I Fear

"It is not only possible, but in fact the duty of everyone to state precisely what his knowledge and conscience compel him to say."
–Hyman Rickover

Part one of a four part series, the second part of which is ‘And Why I Don’t Really Fear This’, with the third part being ‘Why I Fear Something Scarier, So I Guess I'm Middle Class’, with the fourth and last part being ‘And Why I Don’t Really Fear That Either But Instead Believe That America Will Become a Hyperpower’.

This series is nothing other than speculation, and is intended to allow me to hone my predictive skills, using the ready access to information that the Internet provides. This series is for me and me alone, so please stop reading.

When presented with a speculative theory, I ask myself what the world would look like if this speculative theory were actually true. This is why I believe in Human Biodiversity. This is also why President Obama’s address to the Military Ball disturbed me.

So this particular speculative theory is that Obama surrounded himself by Marxists in college, they talked about belief systems that extended beyond what he expressed in his books, and that he would like to replace the United States Constitution with Communism.

He would recognize that there is an entrenched base of Americans, say 50 million, that would need to be suppressed or re-educated to pull this off. This base of Americans includes those who serve in the military. The military, and the oath they take, represents the biggest obstacle to the government entering a stage of Unconstitutional rule. Their oath is to the Constitution, not individuals.

This is why Obama’s address to the military ball disturbed me. It was the words, and the way they were spoken. Usually when the military is addressed, it is something like ‘I would like to thank the members of the military’, or ‘I would like to thank the officers and men of the military’, or something like that. Obama’s address was, paraphrasing from memory, something like:

‘I would like to thank the enlisted men, long pause, and junior officers.’

I hope I heard this wrong, or the audience contained only enlisted men and JOs and Obama was thinking only of the audience. Then I think back to the Bill Ayres ‘kill your parents’ line and a part of my mind wonders. I judge this intent to be too far-fetched to be true, but will be monitoring nonetheless.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Prophet of Doom?

Our fellow traveler Park Dae-sung has just been indicted for spreading his economic observations through his computer. It turns out that his predictions have been, pretty good. Park has a two-year technical degree and was unemployed at the time of his arrest.

There are nine Freedom of Information Act exemptions. The last two are of interest to me:

(b)(8) EXEMPTION - Records of Financial Institutions
This exemption covers matters that are "contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions."

(b)(9) EXEMPTION - Geographical and Geophysical Information Concerning Wells
This exemption covers "geological and geophysical information and data, including maps, concerning wells.

A little fairy in my head tells me that the (b)(9) Exemption has more to do with oil than water. Perhaps we can file Park’s arrest under the heading of “idle hands may be the devil’s playground, but can occasionally result in good journalism.”

Park calls himself the ‘Prophet of Doom’. This is pretty good, and ranks ahead of Professor Roubini, 'Dr. Doom', but still ranks behind me, your 'Messiah of Doom', who urges my fellow Americans to work to become independent by gardening.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Robert Reich on Construction

The Stimulus: How to Create Jobs Without Them All Going to Skilled Professionals and White Male Construction Workers

The stimulus plan will create jobs repairing and upgrading the nation's roads, bridges, ports, levees, water and sewage system, public-transit systems, electricity grid, and schools. And it will kick-start alternative, non-fossil based sources of energy (wind, solar, geothermal, and so on); new health-care information systems; and universal broadband Internet access.

It's a two-fer: lots of new jobs, and investments in the nation's future productivity.

But if there aren't enough skilled professionals to do the jobs involving new technologies, the stimulus will just increase the wages of the professionals who already have the right skills rather than generate many new jobs in these fields. And if construction jobs go mainly to white males who already dominate the construction trades, many people who need jobs the most -- women, minorities, and the poor and long-term unemployed -- will be shut out…
It continues (08JAN entry)

I have had a hard time keeping a job and am a recent construction industry graduate. Robert Reich teaches at Berkley, and if he would maybe look around, most of the construction labor in California is not white. Well there are the Russian crews, who we should really watch out for.

I have a story from my days building housing for American Indians. If I remember right, the Tribe charged rent of something like $20 per month per house. A pretty good deal. Anyway, I hung out at bars after work and became drinking buddies with a Tribal Chairman, who was huge. Those guys had limited ethics rules and I did lots of their work from there on out.

At another emporium of spirits that I frequented, I met another buddy. This one managed a government contracting outfit and had just landed a $10 million contract at a military base. There is, as I understand it, a 5% premium if you hire a certain percentage of targeted minorities, which would have worked out to $500,000. $500,000 buys a lot of beer. The job involved trucking.

So the light bulb goes off, and voila, we’ll show my Tribal Chairman friend how to set up a corporation. The contractor would arrange a truck lease and drivers. Everything was arranged and ready to go.

What a perfect plan. One of my friends would be a new independent entrepreneur, another would help our government achieve its dogma while making higher profits. And, the way I figured it, they would both buy me beer from there on out.

The Tribal Chairman was very excited about the plan. And never followed up despite the repeated, unanswered phonecalls. But Robert would probably like me anyway. I once hired a blonde, white, lesbian, female with big boobs.

Reich has been a member of the faculties of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and of Brandeis University. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College, his M.A. from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and his J.D. from Yale Law School.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Don’t Doubt Me for I Am the Messiah of Doom

OK, this is starting to get weird. In the fall of 2007, we estimated that banking losses would be $3 trillion. The math is easy. $20 trillion in peak real estate valuation, half of which was owned by the bank. People with upside-down mortgages would walk away. Those who didn’t would be counteracted by processing costs. A 30% drop in real estate value equates to a $3 trillion banking loss. We later bumped the loss to 35%, or $3.5 trillion.

Back then, Roubini caused gasps when he mentioned the phrase “one trillion dollars”. Goldman Sachs was saying “three hundred billion dollars”.

On Christmas Day (gulp) Roubini uttered the word “two and one half trillion dollars”, and we said:

"We noted that half of the loss went to the banks, and half to home equity loss for homeowners, or a $3.5 trillion banking loss. Roubini will get here eventually. How do I get on TV?"

And today we come upon this:

“Roubini Predicts U.S. Losses May Reach $3.6 Trillion”

This, my friends, is why you should learn to grow potatoes.

Morning TV

CNN Journalist to New Orleans child: “If you were President, what would you do?”

New Orleans child: “I would be very happy, and jump around.”

In other news, here is part of our latest national Benediction:

"Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to give back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right."

And one last one from this morning’s TV: Lincoln says:

“With malice towards none, with charity towards all.”

And just because I have been directed to embrace what is right, and saw a National Geographic special on Lincoln last night that misrepresented his worldview, here is some Lincoln from the Lincoln Douglas debates:

“But then I apprehend that in no society that ever did exist, or ever shall be formed, was or can the equality asserted among the members of the human race be practically enforced and carried out. There are portions, large portions, -- women, minors, Insane, culprits, transient sojourners, -- that will always probably remain subject to the government of another portion of the community.”

“Judge Douglas took his ground that negroes were not included in the Declaration of Independence. I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to include all men, but they did not intend to declare all men equal in all respects. They did not mean to say that all men were equal in color, size, intellect, moral development, or social capacity.”

“Out of this, Judge Douglas builds up his beautiful fabrication -- of my purpose to introduce a perfect social and political equality between the white and the black races. His assertion that I made an "especial objection" (that is his exact language) to the decision on this account, is untrue in point of fact.”

Congratulations, but please do not try to change Abraham Lincoln’s message. This offends me. Lincoln took one for the team.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Set Up, Like a Bowling Pin

First official words. Six minutes late and wrong.

First official act. Sit back down Mr. President, there are two more to sign. “Are we all done?”

600 private jets.

I think I’ll stick with my potatoes and Jerry Garcia.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Infrastructure Spending

Comment left at the Posner side of the Becker-Posner-Blog:

People say that tariffs hurt the economy during the Great Depression, and they might have. But this is because we were the world’s largest EXPORTER back then. When the other countries retaliated, it hurt our export-based economy.

But now we are the world’s biggest IMPORTER. Imposing tariffs would create jobs for America by protecting our rapidly shrinking manufacturing base. Raise tariffs high enough, and we might end up growing a real economy. Something tells me that other countries will still buy our food.

Recommended infrastructure spending:
1. Pass legislation to expedite permitting; and then
2. Build nuclear power plants by the dozen; and
3. Electrify the railroads.

I am getting concerned about Professor Becker*. Professor Becker says:

Putting new infrastructure spending in depressed areas like Detroit might have a big stimulating effect since infrastructure building projects in these areas can utilize some of the considerable unemployed resources there.

I don’t think that the problem in Detroit is the unemployed ‘resources'. Remind me to say out of the academy. At the Becker-Posner-Blog, and elsewhere, I post under my alias, 'BO Bill'. I'm sure many think of body odor, others Barack Obama, but only the elite few now know the truth.

*I didn't want to take the cheap shot last night, but Becker posted twice. Those two posts are still up this morning.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

FOIA Request

I have read Federalist 46, and concur with those scholars who have read that document, and come to the conclusion that James Madison’s ‘militia’ consisted of all able-bodied men. Madison included the math, you see.

So it disturbs me to see even one of the gun blogs, that I have never witnessed go over the line, begin to censor old posts in advance of a new Attorney General. But I have worked closely with government, and have also witnessed government’s ability to twist law to meet their own personal agenda.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has nine exemptions. The one exemption that could be used to deny the following request, as I read it is #7a:

“Compiled for law enforcement purposes, the release of which could reasonably be expected to interfere with law enforcement proceedings.”

But I do not see how #7a could be used against an individual, expressing his opinions from his living room, who has previously requested an opinion as to the legality of his speech, and has agreed to take down any offending words.

So, with that in mind, here is my formal FOIA request to any government person and/or agency that reads this:

Are any government funds, time, or resources of any kind being expended to monitor this blog? If so please inform me via a comment to this blog post.

I doubt that there is anybody reading this, and this thought goes out into the blogosphere, to encourage Citizens to continue to express their opinions freely.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hyman Rickover

An excerpt from Thoughts on Man’s Purpose in Life, a talk given by Hyman Rickover in 1977:

To create you must care. You must have the courage to speak out. The world's advances always have depended on the courage of its leaders. 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.

It takes courage to do this because in our polite society frank speech is discouraged. But when this attitude relates to questions involving the welfare or survival of the Nation, it is singularly unfitting to remain evasive.

It is not only possible, but in fact the duty of everyone to state precisely what his knowledge and conscience compel him to say.

Many of today's problems can be brought forward only by complete candor and frankness; deep respect for the facts, however unpleasant and uncomfortable; great efforts to know them where they are not readily available; and drawing conclusions guided only by rigorous logic.

Hello, My Government Friends

Our fellow traveler Rivrdog has brought to our attention this. As a responsible Citizen, I have reviewed our content and performed an 18 US 2385 assessment, although this blog contains nothing other than delusional drunken rants, collected online for use in a future, fictional novel.

Anyway, the closest thing I could imagine could lead to perception of any advocacy of the desirability of overthrowing any branch of government is this. It is a comment about a recovery mechanism from anarchy, and returning this country to Constitutional rule, in the scenario of an economic ‘Strategic Shock’ as presented by the Army War College. It is one man’s opinion as to the best way for Uniformed Personnel to be true to their oaths in that scenario, and provides one potential answer to the author’s question.

I do not find that this advocates the overthrow of government, but, instead, is a logical continuity of government strategy. If you find that this, or anything elsewhere that does violate the standards, as you perceive them, or find any such items in the future, please inform me of the offending passages, and they will be removed in a very public fashion. In the absense of such notice, I will assume that this blog is in full compliance with 18 US 2385.

And I am very, very sorry for anything perceived as against the rules that I may have posted or perhaps will at some future time post in a different forum. In this case, please inform me, and I will petition the person who controls that message, also in a public manner. And if they refuse to take it down, you can go after them. Again, the absence of such notice shall be assumed to mean that we are acting in full compliance with the law.

I Guess I Should Probably Say Something Nice About Air Force Pilots

That was an excellent job Mr. Sullenberger. The skill and poise you demonstrated when the SHTF saved the lives of 155 people. That was really, really good work.

So, with that out of the way, this next one is a no shitter, which means it is 100% true. So there was a Marine F/A-18B crew that had a similar problem and had to emergency land. The nearest airfield happened to be an air force base and the pilot took a bead on the runway.

As the plane approached, the hair on the back of the pilot’s neck began to stand up. All of these stories that he had heard about Air Force pilots were, in fact, false. And then the approach, and the crash landing. As the plane screeched to a halt just feet from the end of the runway, the NFO gasped; “These Air Force runways are really short……. but they sure are wide.”
And, with that said, it is nice to see all of the civil servants taking credit for saving lives on TV during the bi-lingual press conference, when the credit belongs to a skilled pilot and crew, and a private ferry company that did not hesitate. I note also that they do not show the pilot’s picture at the NY Times. I’ll post it when I can find one.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Using Lincoln

I reported to a black Marine Corps Captain during my education. As far as I can tell through hindsight, he is a better man than I am. I heard stories from Marines he served with in the field. This man, who was not particularly physically intimidating, was a leader, and I was fortunate to be influenced by him for two years. He had a wife, a daughter, and a son who he was fiercely loyal to. Any system of government that would not give this man a voice is not a system of government that I would support.

This puts me to the left of President Lincoln, another man who I respect. And just like I will defend the Captain, I will defend President Lincoln, whose image is being distorted and used by the incoming Administration, as well as President Bush. I will defend Lincoln and his ideas by comparing my theoretical system of government with Lincoln’s, as I understand it after studying the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Voter eligibility:

Me: Wage earners, paying a minimum $3,000/yr in federal taxes. Political empowerment should be tied to performance. This encourages productivity and a strong state.

Lincoln: All whites, no blacks as blacks are not biologically capable of being responsible voters. Blacks are not even to be Citizens.

Jury eligibility:

Same as voter eligibility.

Inter-racial marriage:

Me: Sexual libertarian, but tie welfare benefits to birth control.

Lincoln: No inter-racial sexual relations.


We agree: All humans deserve dignity.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Schrenker Trial

Prosecution: This man is accused of defrauding investors. He surrounded himself with shiny things that he could not afford. Posted cheesy videos of himself on the internet, indicating a goofy sense of self-importance. Was in the Air Force. Poor execution of planning. A man who lives in a $4 million dollar house should be able to afford enough fuel to get the plane into the Caribbean. Even an Air Force pilot should be able to plan this out.

Defense: In spite of choice of service branch, he served in the special forces. Landed a hot wife. And what a plan! Airplane crashes, motorcycles, motel rooms, cryptic emails. Tried and failed at business, but at least he worked hard and tried, which is better than most people.
Verdict: Guilty. He has three kids and a public suicide attempt, even if faked, is going to scar them for the rest of their lives. This will affect his family for probably two generations. The honorable thing to do would have been to sit the family down and be honest with them. Go bankrupt and adopt an affordable lifestyle. If she can’t handle that, enjoy life as an alpha male bachelor.

Support Mark Palan

Mark Palan has legal bills and a sporting goods store. Completely in violation of my rule about advising another man on how to run his business, I respectfully encourage Mark to think about mail order. I will not publish the phone number to his shop, but it is available online.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Adventures with Bill

So there I was:

1. A visit to the local engineering shop. Exclusively white people. The people talking technical are men in their twenties and thirties. The receptionist is an attractive female. A grumpy looking man, probably in his fifties, walks by. It appears that he has worked in that line of business his whole life. My mentor told me that, if I was to ever really believe what I was saying, it was time to take a vacation. That was engineering. Imagine how bad it is in politics and non-profits.

2. A trip to the mall for two tacos, which cost me $2.12. I pulled exactly twelve cents out of my pocket, which impressed both the cashier and me. I have a fear of people doing things to my food and keep an eye on the man preparing my tacos. They appear to be properly prepared though. They tasted good at least. The mall is very quiet. There are many immigrant men who appear to have nothing better to be doing on Tuesday afternoon than to check out model cars or walk around with omega females. I estimate that just over one half of the people in the mall are descendents of Europe.

3. Then, as a sociological experiment, I decide to check out Cabelas, and contrast the demographics of the shoppers. 100% white at Cabelas, although it too was quiet. There were probably as many lookers as there were employees. There was a guy with an army jacket on who I thought might have had an Asian girlfriend. After another pass, and a clearer look, she too was white, with dyed black hair. There are 23 checkout stations and 1 is open, with a person buying a plastic container for fishing flies.

Monday, January 12, 2009


I used to drink Miller products and have switched to Anheuser Busch products. The reason is because I can easily figure out how fresh the beer is. I buy the cheap ‘Natural’ line because, if you have fresh cheap beer, it always tastes better than costlier, older beer, and I am cheap.

Beer skunks because of 3-methylbut-2-ene-1-thiol and trans-2-nonenal. 3-methylbut-2-ene-1-thiol can be activated by exposure to sunlight and really is the same chemical in skunk spray. Trans-2-nonenal is generated with age and there is debate over the generation mechanism, but, in any case, it just shows up. I designed a brewery once, it was fun.

It is almost impossible for a small brewery to compete with the big guys unless you go for the expensive niche, or go the brew-pub route where you do not need to bottle the beer. There are large economies of scale.

So, anyway, there I was at the gas station, looking at a twelve pack of Natural Beer. There was the twelve-pack in front with an early November date on it. The twelve-pack in back was from December. I removed the November case from the cooler, reached around, and grabbed the December case, replacing the November case.

I do not know if this was an ethical maneuver. But the beer is good.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Children's Television

I’m in that phase. The wife would still have them watching government TV, but I caught one ‘Berenstein Bears’ episode where there was the young bear who was portrayed as working obsessively at the lemonade stand. Then the grown-up bear explained that everybody is happier if he would back off a little on the time at the lemonade stand and share. The whole network is pretty bad.

So I’ve got them steered to the Wiggles. Which, pre-Disney, has no messages and is very good. Anyway, what a success story these guys are. They started off as a lounge act, then did the kiddie-transition, and got gigs at birthday parties, now they sell out large rooms all over the world at $100/seat. They sold out to Disney for God knows how much. Maybe I could get the Wiggles to bankroll my new venture. I picture my smiling face alongside them on the cover of Fortune Magazine.

But there may be side effects to total kiddie immersion for over a decade. These guys really seem to enjoy what they do. Murray Wiggle (red) has named his real-life son Hamish. I have never heard that name in my life. I hope it is a family name among the Cook’s and not a symptom of something worse. I like Murray.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Oil to Nuclear Power

In previous discussions, we explored how to generate liquid fuel from nuclear power, or other conventional heat sources, in order to save humanity for a few more centuries, and buy shiny things for ourselves. Today, our fellow traveler Rivrdog brings up an excellent point, that electric cars will require the nation’s electrical generation and distribution systems to be made bigger.

So, tonight, instead of generating new liquid fuel, we will replace oil with nuclear power, and calculate how much bigger the electrical system will need to be to replace oil.

Entering Arguments:
5,000,000,000 barrels of oil used annually;
1,022,000 MW of current installed electrical generation capacity;
1 Bbl oil = 5,800,000 BTU;
and 1,000,000 BTU = .293 MW-hr; so

(5,000,000,000 Bbl/yr) * (5,800,000 BTU/Bbl) * (0.293 MW-hr/1,000,000 BTU) * (1 day/24hr) * (1 yr/365 day) = 980,000 MW, or roughly a doubling of the existing electrical generation capacity.

But the thermal losses are before the nameplate rating at the power plant. In the internal combustion engine, the losses are post oil (~80%). So the oil ‘work’ to be replaced seems to be (1/5) times 970,000 MW, or a national increase of ~20%.

20% seems low to me, but the calculator keeps coming up with the same thing.

Wanted: Venture Capital

This blog used to include technical research and discussions on a subject similar to the next one I will post. These discussions have ended even though I realize that politics would NEVER, EVER influence science or government permitting.

Nevertheless, my technical work on that particular subject continues, but in a different venue. It is going well and I am to the point where checks need to be written. I am looking for someone to cover my expenses, which I estimate to be $5,000/month, during the permitting process, estimated to be 2-3 years. My last venture was successful and we’re comfortable, but the family is growing, and you can probably guess what the wife thinks of spending our savings on something which is, admittedly, speculative.

But the upside of this speculation to the investor makes Michael Dell’s little venture seem like a lemonade stand. If anybody reads this, and wants more information, leave a contact e-mail. If I had eight figures sitting in the bank, I would go for my sales pitch.

I don’t think that many people read this blog, but am sending this out into the blogosphere nonetheless. I do have credentials, a good track record, work out of my garage these days, and you can trust me more than Madoff:)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Interesting Maps

An interesting graphic previously posted. The top chart is the 2008 election returns. I’ve been digging through Federal Reserve data, trying to figure out what is happening to rural real estate values and came upon county-by-county credit card delinquencies.

I thought something looked familiar. The funny thing is this goes back millions of years. The reason cotton was grown where it was grown, is because of the location of the rich soils. This 'southern crescent' roughly approximates the shoreline of an ancient sea.

Biopolitics and Biojustice

From the Chicago Sun Times:

Days before Gov. Blagojevich was charged with trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder, top Senate Democrat Harry Reid made it clear who he didn’t want in the post: Jesse Jackson, Jr.*, Danny Davis* or Emil Jones*.

Rather, Reid called Blagojevich to argue he appoint either state Veterans Affairs chief Tammy Duckworth** or Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan**, sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.

**White or Asian

The two political parties compete with each other to get their slice of the spoils. In order to succeed, they have to embrace race realism, when competing in the presence of electorates with experience in diversity. Illinois voters have been introduced to diversity, but the majority are still white. As our political system counts heads, most people in Illinois are descended from Europe, and whoever is appointed will have to be re-elected in two years, the Democrats want Blago to appoint a white or Asian Senator.

In contrast, our Justice system uses juries, who need to all find the defendant guilty. 40% of the Cook County jury pool is black, and blacks have a strong herding instinct. Blago will face twelve jurors, five of whom will probably be black, and Blago is fighting for his freedom. So he is positioning himself as a champion of the struggle. This is very good TV. Blago is very smart.

Reid was an idiot for resisting Burris once he was named. Did he think that Blago’s successor, who may never succeed him, would appoint a white Senator? Duh. Kirk will be the next elected Senator from Illinois.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Bulk flour goes for around $0.40/pound and you can make a large pizza with around 8 oz of flour, so the flour is $0.20.

You can probably make six hundred pizzas with $6.00 of Sam’s Club yeast. So add one penny.

A 100-oz can of crushed tomatoes goes for $2.50, and yields four jars of sauce. One jar of sauce makes six pizzas, so the tomatoes cost $0.10. Double the cost to account for oil and spices. So the sauce costs $0.20.

Five pounds of cheese costs $12, and one half of one pound is plenty for a traditional cheesy pizza. So the cheese costs $1.20.

Three pounds of pepperoni, or 720 slices, costs $12. The pizza is cut into six slices, and I’d argue that three slices of pepperoni is appropriate per slice, so that is 18 slices per pizza, at a cost of $0.30.

The energy is free is you have a brick oven and trees. So, the grand total for our cheesy pepperoni pizza is $1.91*. If the economy was not in a free fall, I would open up a pizzeria and sell these pizzas for $14. They are very good.

*Update: The pepperoni actually costs $8.86, not $12, lowering the pepperoni cost to $0.20 and the pizza cost to $1.81!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Stuff White People Like

SWPL #7: Diversity

"White people love ethnic diversity, but only as it relates to restaurants.

Many white people from cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York will spend hours talking about how great it is that they can get Sushi and Tacos on the same street. But then they send their kids to private school with other rich white kids, and live in neighborhoods like Santa Monica or Pacific Palisades."

Of course, ‘White People’ refers to college graduates with liberal arts degrees. As an engineer, I am not a white person. This is why we had chicken, rice, and spinach last night. It was very good.

The left is splitting. White People, working class whites, and non-Asian minorities have been traditional Democrat voters. But working class whites and non-Asian minorities are competing for the same resource, which is a limited number of blue-collar jobs. The power structure encourages this, as it lowers the cost of labor and increases their rate of return on investment.

Slower working class whites went along with the plan as they figured that we lived in a functioning democracy, and if there were more workers, then they would have more political power, and get a fairer shake. In practice the opposite is true. Real wages are dropping because the labor supply is growing.

This, and the fact that working class whites cannot move to Santa Monica or Pacific Palisades, are giving way to racial awareness. This is happening fastest in the places that have historically been the most ‘tolerant’, as these areas contain the highest percentage of non-Asian minorities, and are living with the effects.

The New York Times has an article about the Netherlands. The Times’ editors allowed this story because they are beginning to understand Islam. But the nature of the movement is rooted in economics, not religion. Religion serves only as a herding mechanism for human DNA. Read the comments that passed the filter.

Friday, January 2, 2009

National Continuity Coordinator

Listening to the radio and a caller relays that an acquaintance has been re-activated for a ‘Continuity of Government’ mission, who had ‘never seen anything like it’. I’m a sucker for things like this, so Google presents this Presidential Directive, from two Mays ago (less than a year after Paulson came onboard, five days after I started writing this blog, and three months before we correctly identified the magnitude of the housing bubble). Highlights include that, in the case of a self-declared ‘emergency’:

"The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government. In order to advise and assist the President in that function, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (APHS/CT) is hereby designated as the National Continuity Coordinator."

To do things such as:

“Protecting and stabilizing the Nation's economy and ensuring public confidence in its financial systems”; and

Succession orders and pre-planned devolution of authorities that ensure the emergency delegation of authority must be planned and documented in advance in accordance with applicable law” (‘devolution of authorities’ and ‘applicable law’?);

Interesting times we live in. It appears that the grown-ups recognize that there are problems. The stories we will have to tell. Remember your oaths, my brothers in uniform. The Constitution was written by James Madison, not George Bush. It was designed for an electorate of tax-paying males. It is the best system yet devised.

Ernst was not a tall man, and was a queer. But he was a man who felt strongly about a certain world-view and was comfortable with the group he associated with. He was summoned to a meeting on June 28th, which he looked forward to. On June 30th, there came the knock and he was led away.

A pistol was placed on the table before him and he was given ten minutes. Ernst, instead of using the pistol, instead opened his shirt and waited for the guards to return. When they did, he thrust his chest out defiantly, and they shot him at point blank range.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

US Treasury says 'Great Job Hank'

The financial system is fundamentally more stable than it was when Congress passed the legislation."
-United States Treasury Statement

Great job Hank. You spent the money equivalent of one hundred and sixty brand-new Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carriers, and have improved bank stability. That is really impressive.

Oh, and another $5 billion to Cerberus’ GMAC, with no tracking requirements. After they were just qualified as a bank? Doesn’t your predecessor work there? Heck. Bang-up job Hank.

Wait, don’t those same guys own Chrysler?