Wednesday, May 26, 2010

1984 Consumer Protection

So, curious why the banking colusses, the Fed and the Party Lines all pushed the 'Consumer Protection' legislation this week?

CNS News: "The bill, if it becomes law, would create the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and empower it to “gather information and activities of persons operating in consumer financial markets,” including the names and addresses of account holders, ATM and other transaction records, and the amount of money kept in each customer’s account.

The new bureaucracy is then allowed to
“use the data on branches and [individual and personal] deposit accounts … for any purpose” and may keep all records on file for at least three years and these can be made publicly available upon request.

Ah. In staggering Orwellian fashion, Newspeak and the eyes of Big Brother rear their ugly heads yet again.

So long Privacy, hello IRS audits to pay for Obamacare.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

In Case You Needed Confirmation

The United States of America is in financial trouble.

Rueters: "The United States posted an $82.69 billion deficit in April, nearly four times the $20.91 billion shortfall registered in April 2009 and the largest on record for that month, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday.

It was more than twice the $40-billion deficit that Wall Street economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast and was striking since April marks the filing deadline for individual income taxes that are the main source of government revenue.

Department officials said that in prior years, there was a surplus during April in 43 out of the past 56 years.

The government has now posted 19 consecutive monthly budget deficits, the longest string of shortfalls on record

Here's what this really means:
To operate an increasingly hostile Federal Government, the nation is borrowing approximately $80,00,000,000.

This is more money every month then the entire Annual Nominal Gross Domestic Product of Iraq.

not sustainable; not to be supported, maintained, upheld, or corroborated.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Solar Power: A Bright Idea. Later.

Graph of the Day for May 8, 2010

Personally, I believe solar power will be the power source for the generations to follow mine. Sunlight is nearly unlimited, free, and world wide, and the only thing required for its commercial success is making it an efficient producer of electricity.

That day will come, but only in the years to come. History shows an accelerating pace of development. Some guys like Ray Kurzweil are predicting solar dominance of the market within 20 years, and that seems reasonable for a few reasons. More people then ever before are entering the world market place, and more minds working on more problems with the aim of creating a profit can only mean good things for the consumers.
Even better, those minds will not be working solely on energy developments, but a vast array of advancements in the all encompassing marketplace, each with spin off benefits to industries and inventions along side it.
So if/when solar power becomes efficient enough to compete with the traditional sources of energy production, there will be a revolution nearly unfathomable throughout the world. Automobiles, telecommunication nodes, household production, aviation, and basketball manufacturing, all radically changed.

I don't say it enough, but the future is awesome.
But today, can we stop shoveling my heisted tax dollars into this?

Friday, May 07, 2010

Times Square: Questions that Need Answers

J.C. Arenes has a great column on the Times Square bomber in New York City, giving his top 10 questions on the current story line.

Seeing as he puts it far better then I can in my limited time, here's a preview and the link:

American Thinker: "...Now that we have established the timeline of these events, let's ask some questions that the media should have.

Question #1:
How did he get back to Connecticut after leaving the Isuzu he used to get into the city on the 30th?

Questions #2, #3, and #4
: Where did he leave the car? It couldn't have just been abandoned on the street for more than 24 hours, it would have been towed. Was it parked at a lot? If so, where is the lot's record of the car being parked there? ..."

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Cameras Destroy Property

Steve Chapman at Reason: "Which raises the question: What good are cameras? The debate over them is often framed as hardheaded law enforcement types versus wimpy civil libertarians. Whether the cameras actually work in practice to help solve and prevent crime generally gets ignored.

It shouldn't. Leave aside those airy privacy concerns for the moment. Installing, maintaining, and monitoring thousands of these devices, as in New York and Chicago, costs millions of dollars. Absent cameras, that money could be spent on beat cops, patrol cars, forensic equipment, jail cells, you name it.
But if cameras generally don't do much to prevent crime, surely they help collar the criminals they fail to deter? Not very often. A review by the London police department calculated, "For every 1,000 cameras in London, less than one crime is solved per year." Average cost for cracking a case: $30,000.

Chicago police say the cameras have produced 4,000 arrests since 2006. That sounds like a lot, but it works out to only about 1 in 200 arrests. And for 10,000 cameras, 4,000 arrests is not really a spectacular haul.

In San Francisco, the results have been even less impressive. In the first three years after the city installed cameras, they helped police charge suspects in a grand total of six cases.

A quick review:
Funding for cameras come from taxes.
Taxes are the price citizens pay for living in a governed society.
When the government wastes money, it squanders property.

Therefore, public cameras used by police departments are the following:
A. Largely useless in solving crimes.
B. Largely useless in preventing crimes.
C. Squandering tax dollars
D. Hampering real crime prevention by sidelining limited resources.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Podcast Smörgåsbord 2: NFL Rants and Raves

After presenting
This Week in Tech as the first item on the menu, I've got another one to offer.

NFL Rants & Raves: Bringing American Football to the World. Crafted with love by two brother-in-laws in Pasadena California, its the NFL from a fans perspective.
Steven is a die hard cowboys fan, Jeff picks a team at the start of every season, and that usually seals their fate for the year.

While most of their work goes entirely unpaid, this duo routinely picks over 70% correct over the course of the season, besting most paid analysts.If you're a British reader, you may have seen them in a guest spot on Sky Sports from time to time, or waltzing around the NFL games in London.

During the off-season, Steven and Jeff will put together about a show every week. The Draft, the training camps, division previews and the preseason are all covered, in anticipation of the season. But once the regular season is under way, it is without fail two shows a week, and almost without exception over two hours a show. It is entertaining while informing, rife logical and emotional opinions, bursting with a passion and a dash of sound effects.

As Jeff says, 'This is Edutainment people!'
If this isn't a word in the English language, perhaps it should be, because this show is routinely a highlight of my week. If you have even a sliver of interest in the NFL, this is well worth some time to try. It's free, after all.