Friday, May 29, 2009

tunring the corner

A corner may have been turned, on the economy. I have been watching the bond markets, and have been predicting the economy will bottom this fall and begin recovery in a couple of years.

Well, I may have been off a little on the bottoming of the economy. The dry goods shipping index, probably the fastest reliable index of the world economy did a turnaround this month. We are still facing a long recessionary economy, with unemployment not turning around for at least a year, and housing prices not for at least another two years. (Take a look at the difference between the one year, two year, and five year bond interest rates.)

We can next expect a round of high (I won't call it hyper) inflation. More than 30%. Probably more than 60%. But spread out over a few years. I don't know if this will be 20% each year for 3 years or 12% each year for 5 years, but I think it will be somewhere around that three year scenario. So you now have permission to hoard (save) money. And you have permission to move to higher tax brackets, since your tax credits and deductions won't be worth as much. We get this compliments of our government (under both Bush and Obama) printing lots of money.

What I recommend, instead, is to buy things of lasting value, when you have the money. Things like quality hand tools (I no longer really care if they are made in USA, since Stanley started making them in China - that was the last straw), or a good touring bike, that you have already had your eyes on. I am not advocating gold coins at this time, since the price is about 15% over what it should be, and I would never advocate diamonds or any other jewelry type items. (Pretties, no matter how much the girls like them, are a loser's game.)

I will probably will start visiting this subject approximately monthly.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Democrats - Lies, Corruption, and FlipFlops

I find it seriously annoying that I spend so much time on this subject, but the corruption and damage to our nation has just been breathtaking.

One of the leading figures in the Democratic party, Nancy Pelosi has been lying about knowing that the CIA's aggressive interrogations were going on. And what a shame, those interrogations , while bordering on torture, may have saved thousands of lives.

The Democrat controlled press has been covering up the roots of the Mortgage Meltdown
The following links are about the same.

Obama's Complicity1 and Obama's Complicity2

This one gives a little more detail on ACORN's Complicity

This one shows that liberals, encouraging the poor to live beyond their means by insulating the loan brokers from the risk, was a primary cause of the meltdown, and that the Bush administration warned of the impending collapse.

So, why weren't the warnings heeded? Maybe because Barny Franks prevented the Bush administration from altering Freddie Mac's course by calling it racism.

And now, after the Mexican government, the press, and Obama lied about 90% (the real number is about 17%) of drug cartel's guns coming from the US, so Obama sent hundreds of agents to find them, but of course, they didn't find very many, cause they don't exist. (sadly, this last link comes from AP, and so it will probably disappear - but I hope I can find a more permanent one later.)

The only good news lately is that Obama has joined the waffle house bunch as he FlipFlops on Tribunals:

UPDATE: A little updating on that Mexican Gun stuff.
Keeping in mind that "FactCheck" is a liberal biased org that will do anything it can get away with to undermine us, they say the numbers are somewhere in between.
Also, from Opposing Views.

Swine Flu - From Panic to Forgotten

Well, the panic seems to be over for now. But now, is swine flu forgotten? That isn't much better. There will be other pandemics, and some of the things that could be learned from this one could be useful in the next one.

First, you need to prepare for a pandemic before it gets much news attention. Maybe before the first case. Do the simple stuff, have some extra soap and other supplies on hand. Get in the habit of washing your hands any time you come into your house from any public place.

As for society, we need to develop clear guidelines. This time around we closed schools where there was no outbreak, and every state and county had a different standard for what would be released about cases in their area. I would recommend that schools close after the first confirmed case, or after 1% of the school comes down with suspected cases. Of course, there will be people who think the action is too slow, but we have to be practical.

As for information dissemination, I would say that we should publish any county where a case has been found, and the school district if they attend a school. Maybe we need some standard for telling how many cases are confirmed or suspected, but I am not sure what that standard should be.

And we need to develop clear guidelines about the emergency issuing, safeguarding, and tracking of medicines. Especially antibiotics and antivirals.

Despite the lack of attention it is getting since everybody got interested in Nancy Pelosi's denial of knowing about our interragation techniques, let's not completely forget about this pandemic, especially since it IS still going on.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Swine Flu 3 panic and stupidity

One week after the swine flu burst onto the public scene, the public seems to be in full blown panic mode. I just saw on the news that school closings in TX are double the known cases of the virus, meaning that most of the schools closed have not experianced an outbreak. Public events and entire sports venues canceled. (OK, I heard that last cancelation got nixed)

There may be some signs that the panic is slowing, but around the corner is a whole new outbreak to panic about. Again, closing schools, canceling events or otherwise radically changing your behaviour before the first case in your area is panic. And the next panic, already underway, about the new strain of flu, already found in Canada, may severly damage and entire segment of the economy. One more time: you can't get this from eating pork (unless you are eating a live pig - and then I think the pig would likely bite you back) .

Here is a good resource for information on this flu pandemic. One of the articles about the pandemic panic says it well:

"When a pandemic hits, you deal with it using the resources you've got. Like an unexpected invasion, it's a "come as you are" event. The trick is to foresee the pandemic and to build up the personnel, equipment, and organization to stop it.

But if your response to the threat of pandemic is to be stupidly sanctimonious, all your planning will be in vain."

Good wording. Overall though, on a personal level, what the government or public at large does will have little effect on whether you get the flu or not (though it may delay you getting it for some weeks). Your own behaviour will be the biggest factor in whether you get it, that and total random chance. Using good sence, like washing hands and keeping your kitchen area clean, will go a long way. Other than that, your best bet is to be prepared in case it does come to your house.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Swine Flu 2

What a difference 2 days makes. Now we have panic all across the US about an epidemic that will likely not be much worse than the seasonal flu that comes around every year.

I warned against panic three times in my previous article, but I would give President Obama a C- for his handling of this issue, since I have not heard him warn against panic.

Let me be clear. The closing of schools where there have not yet been any cases, and canceling of public events where there is not already large numbers of cases is panic, and is irrational. What is the goal of closing public schools that have not yet seen cases of the flu? They will be behind in their work and have clean and steril desks for when the flu does show up. The flu will have the best of all environments to operate in, since it will not have to compete with the normal flora and everyone will be behind in their work, and so will not dare take another day off, untill the symptoms are unmistakable and they have passed it on to several others.

I made the statement that everyone should have at least a few weeks supply of food and soap in case there is panic buying. Don't go overboard, as some people did in previous crises. I found an interesting article about a panic in Oct 62 that could shed some light on that. Again, don't panic.