"History is a wonderful thing, if only it was true"

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ken Langone on Obama

Pithy comments:

here, CNBC clip

College english

Highlights in red ... it's education issues ... stupid

Looking Inside the Consumer Bust - NYTimes.com:
"Among all 4 of my brothers and sisters, all of us have college degrees and all of us are unemployed most of times during last 20 years in heath care, education and IT sector,
all of us have less than 2 kids and married.
Yet all of us are constantly in deep debt, none of us paid off even 20% of our outstanding student loan, one of us
are in foreclosure and one of us has file bankruptcy protection, etc.
In short, I sincerely believe American Dream is the greatest fraud in human history, because I REFUSE to pretend middle class anymore, I refuse to deluding myself anymore!!"

Monday, July 25, 2011


MotoGP: Second Half of the Season Kicks off with US GP US GP Laguna Seca MotoGP

Stoner chasing Lorenzo at Laguna Seca CA, 325lbs, 200hp, leaned over and honkin

Sunday, July 24, 2011


July 24: Daley, Coburn, Hagel, Kinzinger, Booker, Goodwin, Mitchell - Meet the Press - Transcripts - msnbc.com: "MR. GREGORY: Joining me now, a member of the Senate Finance Committee and the so-called Gang of Six negotiator, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.
Senator, welcome back to MEET THE PRESS.
SEN. TOM COBURN (R-OK): Good morning. How are you?"

MR. GREGORY: I'm fine. I want to get your reaction to what you heard from Bill Daley here from the White House this morning, which is the president will not sign a deal that results in only a temporary increase of the debt limit. He wants to see something that gets us through 2013.
SEN. COBURN: Well, first of all I think that's a ridiculous position because that's what he's going to get presented with. That's the compromise way through that's going to build the compromise. David, everybody's talking about the, the symptoms of our problem instead of the real disease. The government's twice the size it was 10 years ago. It's 30 percent bigger than it was when President Obama became president. The problem is that we're spending way too much money, and, and it's not hard to cut it without hurting entitlement benefits. But we don't have anybody that wants to do that without getting a tax increase.
MR. GREGORY: Well, all right, well, I want to get to taxes in just a minute. But I want to talk about the here and now, which is a failed political system at the moment, and what you heard from Mr. Daley, very difficult days in the financial markets and a lack of confidence around the world at the United States' credit worthiness and its ability to reach some kind of consensus. Does that not have to create a breakthrough along the lines of what the president is talking about? Cuts that are large enough and an extension of the debt ceiling that's long enough to say to the markets, you know, "You can count on the United States."
SEN. COBURN: I don't agree with that because, if you give an extension of $2.4 trillion to this president and this administration, which is--has policies that have actually hurt our recovery, I think you actually hurt the possibility of keeping our AAA rating without making the fundamental changes that have to come to this government. Unless you reform entitlements and unless you get rid of the waste and duplication--there's, there's $2 trillion over 10 years in duplication and fraud in the federal government before you even talk about entitlement programs. You mentioned the FAA program with Mr. Daley. You know what's holding up the FAA program? Is essential air services where the American people are paying $1,000 a ticket in subsidy to people that are riding from airports with six passengers on a plane when they could drive an hour and a half and get an airplane, and we wouldn't be paying the $1,000. So it's continued waste and duplication in the federal government and they won't approve the FAA because they continue to want to subsidize irresponsible and wasteful behavior.
MR. GREGORY: Is it responsible to get to a point where we pass the August 2 deadline and risk default?
SEN. COBURN: I don't think so. I think we'll get there, and I think the president--I understand why they're saying they won't sign a short term, but I think they won't have any choice, and I think that's the only answer right now. I would make the other point, the deficit commission put out a pretty good plan. It was dead-panned by this administration. Had they come alongside, started supporting that long time ago, we wouldn't be where we are today. And that was the president's commission. He had 11 members out of the 18--60 percent--that supported that and it got absolute cold shoulder from the administration.
MR. GREGORY: I want to ask...
SEN. COBURN: So for them to come back now and to say, to use that, when they rejected it out of hand, did not embrace their own commission. So it's not intellectually honest to say that that was one of the steps, because they didn't want it because it had entitlement reform in it.
MR. GREGORY: Let, let me get to the heart of the matter, you have been outspoken on the issue of taxes. You believe in lower taxes, certainly as a matter of principle as a conservative, but you've also talked about the need for compromise. That is not something that's happened among conservatives on Capitol Hill and among the leadership. This is how The New York Times editorialized about it on Saturday morning. "The Party That Can't Say Yes," it writes, "In the end, it was Mr. Boehner who torpedoed the talks. He said Friday evening that he and the president had come close to agreeing on $800 billion of tax--of revenue increases"--tax hikes--"but could not stomach another $400 billion the White House wanted to raise through extending tax loopholes and deductions. So on the eve of economic calamity, the Republicans killed an overly generous deal largely over a paltry $400 billion in deductions. Mr. Obama was willing to take considerable heat from his liberal critics over the deal, and the Republicans were not willing to do a thing to anger their Tea Party base." What do you say to that?
SEN. COBURN: Well, I'd say a couple of things. Number one is nobody in America has actually seen a plan from this administration put on paper for us to visualize and to actually look at what they were willing to give up. So we don't know what that, what that is. There's no question there's waste in the tax credits that are in the code. There's no question there's favors for individuals in the code that ought to be eliminated. And we can do that, but you ought to do that as you lower the rates because our biggest problem isn't that taxes are too low, it's that the government interference and the oppressive nature of our government on our economy is lessening the economy's response. So I, I would vote for a compromise, as I did in the deficit commission, as I worked with the guys in the Gang of Six, provided you get significant changes to the real problems that is facing us, which is waste and the duplication and the fraud in the federal government programs; and number two, reforming the entitlements. Mr. Daley also said that they were going to oppose anything that would fundamentally change Medicare. Well, Medicare is belly-up. Anybody that's on Medicare today, I want to tell you, in five years, it's going to have to change.
MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm.
SEN. COBURN: We cannot borrow the money to keep it going the way it is today.
MR. GREGORY: All right. Senator, final...
SEN. COBURN: So people need to know that, rather than to take a false assumption that you won't change something.
MR. GREGORY: Final question, what is your message to those in the tea party caucus in the House about tax increases and what needs to be done to get a deal?
SEN. COBURN: Well, ideally, we would not have tax increases. But to get a deal, if we eliminated ethanol blending tax credits, wind energy tax credits, tons of other tax credits, then we could get a deal and what that would not do is impact the average American, would not raise rates. We should use that money to lower rates and--but with that, get significant fundamental entitlement reform and discretionary spending reform.
MR. GREGORY: All right. We're going to leave it there. Senator Coburn, thank you very much.
SEN. COBURN: Glad to be with you.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Antrim Bellaire Fishermans Paradise

Once upon a time, mid 50's till closing sometime late 60's ? this was summer.
American Plan resort, family and friends (of the adults, some amongst the other kids) fond memories

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

File under duh ... do ya suppose?

Did the Continental Drift Create an Oil Bonanza? - BusinessWeek:
"More than 90 million years ago, when the land mass of Pangaea began separating into the continents we now call South America and Africa, the earth may have produced a lucrative farewell gift: huge oil and gas deposits along both coastlines where they had previously been joined. Now, Angus McCoss, exploration director and chief geologist at Tullow Oil, which in 2007 discovered one of the biggest oil finds of recent years off the coast of West Africa, is betting more than $100 million that a similar bonanza awaits off South America's eastern shore."

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Commentary: A Few Bad Apples Spoil...Not Much

At least we have a system that flushes them out (like quail) and flushes them down (like ... sh*t)

Commentary: A Few Bad Apples Spoil...Not Much

Biotech's Fountain Of Youth

Scanning and saving older reading stuff - interesting on biotech and the future for humans - until I spotted that the author worked at MuSoft (new take on the blue screen of death) ... but also, imagine the Social Security issues with even greater life extension

Biotech's Fountain Of Youth

Monday, July 04, 2011

Sometimes valid, but often a warning sign

Diversification and liquidity may be valid reasons, but there are enough situations of failure of faith in the company is the reason

Full disclosure should be required

Some CEOs Are Selling Their Companies Short - BusinessWeek

Here we go again

Deeper changes afoot
More urbanization, which, ecologically speaking isn't all bad.
Drive population back from suburbs to the cities, less need for cars.
(are urban populations easier to manage?)
Mandate public transit as alternative, which is also workable.
(do passengers feel less independent?)

Discourage distance travel ... TSA is well on it's way to discouraging air-travel
(train population to be herded and managed by uniformed staff?)

For personal transportation :
We'll ignore physics, geography and infrastructure
Compare American market to Europe and make them equal ?


New Mileage Rules Debated by Carmakers and White House - NYTimes.com:

"The Obama administration and the auto industry are locked in negotiations over new vehicle mileage and emissions standards that will have a profound effect on the cars Americans drive and the health of the auto industry over the next decade and beyond."

Mandate for over 56MPG
Can be done, but, besides going hybrid, likely means mandates on size and performance.
Aerodynamics - smaller cross section... smaller
Mass - reduce it...smaller
Power, less horsepower, although "on demand" electrical back up could help.

HEARD ON THE STREET: A Long and Winding Road for Electric Vehicles - WSJ.com:

Electric cars can draw their power from natural gas, coal, wind or even the sun. But their economics are purely nuclear.
Nuclear power stations are relatively cheap to run, but enormously expensive to build. To commit to that, you need either very cheap financing—preferably subsidized—or clairvoyance on long-term electricity prices. The same goes for electric cars.
In a forthcoming report, the Boston Consulting Group estimates that even though costs should fall by 64% between 2009 and 2020, a typical 20 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery for a pure electric vehicle will still set you back almost $10,000 in today's money by the end of that period. So while your futuristic ride will run on lower cost electricity versus presumably expensive gasoline, the upfront outlay could negate this benefit.
Compounding this, BCG foresees manufacturers breathing new life into vehicles using traditional internal combustion engines, spurred on by tightening tailpipe emissions standards. Tweaks range from sleeker chassis reducing drag to lighter materials and better engines. Getting a typical compact car to 47 miles per gallon, or MPG, under this scenario, could cost just $2,000 extra per vehicle. Current average fuel economy is about 26 MPG.
Above, a 2011 Chevrolet Vol.
That could be a powerful headwind not just for battery-powered vehicles, but also hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles such as General Motors' Chevrolet Volt. Under BCG's scenario for tailpipe emissions reductions, the extra cost involved with a hybrid vehicle compared to current combustion engine vehicles could amount to $5,000 in today's money by 2020, about half the extra cost of a battery-only vehicle. Plug-in costs would lie somewhere in between.
So how many years would it take for a typical driver to make back the extra outlay for different technologies with fuel savings?
Assume a driver travels 14,000 miles per year. The advanced internal combustion engine gets 47 miles per gallon. The hybrid and, during the 20% of the time it runs on its gasoline engine, the plug-in hybrid both get 79 miles per gallon. That assumes they maintain their efficiency advantage relative to our new and improved traditional engine. The all-electric vehicle, meanwhile, and the plug-in's electric motor get four miles per kWh.
Assume also that annual maintenance costs range from $400 for the vehicle with the internal combustion engine down to $200 for the pure electric vehicle, which has fewer moving parts. In addition, discount annual cash outlays at 5%, in line with vehicle financing costs.
The key input is energy. At long-term prices of $4.50 for a gallon of gasoline and 11 cents per kWh, it takes just under six years for the hybrid vehicle to be more cost effective than the one with the advanced internal combustion engine. The plug-in's payback period is seven years; the electric vehicle about eight years. That's a long time in car years; beyond the expiry of a typical lease.
Higher gasoline prices shift things in the electric car's favor: At $6 gasoline, it pays off in less than six years. That's still pretty long and also doesn't factor in any costs for, say, installing a charger in your garage.
For electric vehicles to make serious headway, they will need much higher fuel prices or taxes, faster reduction in technology costs, or continuing big subsidies. The latter looks unlikely to prove sustainable in the U.S., which is why, in line with BCG's thinking, China and Europe— where regulatory incentives are more widespread than the U.S.—could be more receptive markets. What millions of Chinese driving gasoline-free vehicles will do to the oil price that underpins the electric vehicle's economics is another matter.

Fourth of July

Walter Russell Mead: The Future Still Belongs to America - WSJ.com:

"This tsunami of change affects every society—and turbulent politics in so many countries make for a turbulent international environment. Managing, mastering and surviving change: These are the primary tasks of every ruler and polity. Increasingly these are also the primary tasks of every firm and household.

This challenge will not go away. On the contrary: It has increased, and it will go on increasing through the rest of our time. The 19th century was more tumultuous than its predecessor; the 20th was more tumultuous still, and the 21st will be the fastest, most exhilarating and most dangerous ride the world has ever seen.

Everybody is going to feel the stress, but the United States of America is better placed to surf this transformation than any other country. Change is our home field. It is who we are and what we do. Brazil may be the country of the future, but America is its hometown."

Saturday, July 02, 2011

China: Keep it in perspective

"State-owned enterprises, an immature financial system, the specter of unpredictable social forces - hardly the formula for spawning aerospace giants."

Aviation Week April 25-May 2, 2011