Sunday, September 30, 2012

Afghanistan: The Forgotten American Nightmare


This stupid war gets worse and worse and ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, and nearly all other networks conveniently let it slide by.  After all, there are only 100,000 Americans there... just another "bump" for the Commander In Chief.  But hardly a bump for the families of those who are serving in the military there.

It is personal.  I posted this a month and one-half ago.


R.I.P. Spc. Kyle McClain
But there is more than that.  This is the content of emails sent to my congressman and senators for the state of Michigan:

I wish to express my concern regarding the present military tactics being employed in Afghanistan that place our soldiers at unnecessary risk. 
Please refer to this article: 
My concern is more than abstract; I have a niece who will deploy to Afghanistan before the end of the year as a medic.  She will be one of those soldiers who will have to venture into hostile territory unarmed as a result of the politically correct insanity that serves as leadership these days. 
I would like to see funding sharply curtailed for this military fiasco since the CIC has determined that there is no real long term vision, strategy, or goals for our involvement... only that we want to stand our soldiers up before hostile forces in the name of hope and change. 
Forgive my sarcasm. 
Bruce Hall
I sent a copy of those emails to my sister whose daughter is referred to in them.  She wrote back:
Last night I spent the evening crying and went to bed at 1 a.m. and tossed and turned. I felt angry and moody all morning. This problem is very real to me- too real. And while I greatly appreciate your letters, I still believe they will do no good. You didn't get a response from Scott Walker when you wrote to him. I didn't get a response to Obama when I wrote to him. And frankly, Mitt Romney doesn't have a better idea of what to do or not do in Afghanistan either. None of them are talking about it and they simply do not listen anymore. When the vast majority of Americans are against this war and they are ignored, it is hard to feel like writing a letter will make a difference. I really can't walk around absorbing the full impact of this every day because what happened last night is the effect it has on me. When the girls and I were together we spent an evening on the beach. A beautiful evening with a fire, making "s'mores" like little kids on a camp out and drinking wine like big adults -  together for a brief time, all of us. And that lovely night reduced me to tears because we talked about what ----'s wishes were in the event she died in Afghanistan. You know, how much insurance she carried, who would get what, where she wanted to be buried or if she wanted to be buried. We also talked about what her wishes were should she be injured and maimed - where she wanted to be treated, etc. This is more real to me than you can know and my letter will not stop it. What it will do is make this emotional trauma even more real for me. My daughters are my life and I don't even have them near me. For my own mental health I need to have the illusion that ---- will come back from that hell physically and mentally sound. I have no religious faith - that has proven empty and hollow and I have no faith in politicians whose promises are equally empty and hollow. The country is too polarized to have effective leadership anymore and the result is innocent people getting caught in the crossfire. I don't expect the best. All I can do is control how I deal with it and my way of dealing with it is to tell and show ----, every day, how much I love her and how important she is to me so that she can carry that with her. No one has to remind me how bad it is. 
Someone needs to remind our politicians how bad it is.  But, of course, I'll expect another politicized form letter in place of a true response.

I don't expect honor from our politicians; I used to expect that from our military leaders.  Now I only expect self-serving, weasel-wording, dishonorable "leaders" regardless whether they call themselves "elected officials" or "military leaders."  Washington, D.C. is bereft of honor.  It is filled with dishonesty and cowardliness.  Our "leaders" are the antithesis of the person for whom the nation's capitol city they infest was named.

Should I get such responses, I will publish them here so that you can judge them for yourselves.  Not a threat; a promise.  It is time that our non-responsive Washingtonians be called out by name.

No comments accepted on this one.

2012 IS HERE


Friday, September 28, 2012

The Catholic Church And The Affordable Care Act


Catholics continue to anguish over the provisions of the Affordable Care Act that require Catholic schools, universities, charities, and hospitals... and any other Catholic organization that is not directly part of a church... to provide insurance coverage for contraception, abortions and sterilizations.

My sister-in-law is a devout Catholic and sends me links to the debate raging inside the Church.  This is the latest article that discusses the not-so-great options that the Catholic Church has regarding these issues.
A Mandate to Disobey

The Affordable Care Act mandates that employers offer and individuals buy insurance that provides free contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization. It seems we have passed from a society that allows legal access to these drugs and services to one that insists that they must be free, subsidized by everyone’s insurance premiums. Catholics and others are no longer being asked to tolerate what we believe to be wrong; now we must participate. [read the full article]
I'm not a Catholic and have, at times, been at odds with the practices of that church.  But I understand the conundrum of being faced with mandates that are diametrically opposed to one's faith and principles and having... apparently... no good option to fight it.

My response to my sister-in-law was this:
Seems simple. Close all Catholic schools, universities, hospitals, and charities for one month and direct all students and patients to go to public counterparts. The strain on the public system will be overwhelming. Then Catholic officials can go public with the reason: the ACA requires Catholic organizations to violate their faith and principles. The organizations will re-open when declared exempt from those ACA requirements. 
A tough and costly sacrifice for the faith. But an effective one I'll wager. 
If the Catholic Church is really concerned about the tenets of its faith being compromised by the ACA, then a real sacrifice in defense of that faith is appropriate.  Were the Catholic Church to merely announce that it was taking these actions, there would emergency meetings in Congress and throughout the United States trying to figure out how to deal with profound public crisis.

The exemptions to the ACA would be forthcoming... immediately.

2012 IS HERE


Thursday, September 27, 2012

New QO7 Thriller Movie



2012 IS HERE


A Smaller Percentage Of People Now Working Than In The Last Decade


The Obama administration provides all sorts of data that tells us how much improvement there has been in our economy after spending trillions of dollars of unsupported dollars.  We have more debt as a nation and taxpayers are facing higher taxes.  But the stock market seems okay.  Wind and solar power companies are strongly supported by the government.  There is a massive new healthcare program being implemented.

So why is there this constant undercurrent of discontent?  Why don't people believe that, as a nation, we are truly better off than we were 3.75 years ago?

Perhaps these data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics give the strongest indication.

We're just not seeing that "better off" trend.  So the question is: are people going to vote with their pocketbooks or are they still hoping for some loose change?

Of course, one could look at these data and say that things are so good that the nation is moving away from the need for a two-worker family model and we are returning to the 1950s "happy days" when dad went off to work while mom stayed home and raised the kids.


2012 IS HERE


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

NFL Uncovers Problem With Replacement Referees


We all suspected this.

2012 IS HERE


Our Big Problems Are Quite Small


This picture was taken by the Hubble Telescope.  It shows a small patch of a small patch of small section of the night sky.  An object the size of our solar system would not be visible in the most expanded view.  Via the BBC.

[click on image for larger view]

2012 IS HERE


If Israel Is Bluffing, Is Iran Kidding?


From The Telegraph:

So, if Israel is bluffing, are the existential threats against Israel by Iran simply a case of hyperbole?  Of course, the bigger issue is why would Israel believe Iran's threats were hyperbole?  After all, if someone kept threatening your life ... your existence ... and then worked diligently to become capable of carrying out the threat, would you take steps to make certain that threat cannot be carried out.

And would you be concerned because someone else considered your preparations annoying and "noisy"?  I suppose you would if that someone were the local "cop." [at 10:40 mark]


And what if the local cop sided with the guy who was threatening you?

You might start loading your Smith & Wesson... or more.

2012 IS HERE


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Republican War On Women


There you go again, you wascally Wepubwicans:

Oh, that's just over-blown nonsense.  It's an attack on Islam.

And that is Sharia Law in action.  [source]

2012 IS HERE


Electric Cars - Fail


No matter how much the super-greens may want it and no matter how much the government may mandate the techonogy... and subsidize it to the tune of thousands of dollars each... the electric car is simply not ready for prime time.

From Hardware via Penny Peiser:

Toyota kills city 'e-car for everyone'

Only a limited launch for eQ
Who killed the electric car? This time round, Toyota did. It said today it will not release its proposed mass-market mini e-car, the eQ.
The reason: there's no demand for it, not while battery technology is failing to provide comparable range to a tank of petrol.
"The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society's needs," said Toyota vice-chairman, Takeshi Uchiyamada, Reuters reports, "whether it's the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge."  [full article here]


2012 IS HERE


New Taxes Coming: Be Prepared To Open Your Wallets


It's unlikely to be a Happy New Year for most Americans.  Why?

  • Personal income tax rates will rise on January 1, 2013.
  • Higher taxes on marriage and family coming on January 1, 2013.
  • Middle Class Death Tax returns on January 1, 2013.
  • Higher tax rates on savers and investors on January 1, 2013. 
  • The Obamacare Medical Device Tax begins to be assessed on January 1, 2013.
  • The Obamacare “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deductions goes into force on January 1, 2013. 
  • The AMT will ensnare over 31 million families, up from 4 million last year.
  • Full business expensing will disappear.
  • Taxes will be raised on all types of businesses.
  • Tax Benefits for Education and Teaching Reduced.
  • Charitable Contributions from IRAs no longer allowed.
h/t Bill via email.  Full story here.

Hey, we all have tax problems.  Get over it.
With hope and small change,

2012 IS HERE


Arab Spring, Dignity Revolutions, Or New Tyrannies? - Part 2


Back in February, when the world was fauning over the "Arab Spring." I posed a straight-forward question:  Arab Spring, Dignity Revolutions, Or New Tyrannies?  Every day, the answer is becoming readily apparent... even to those who really want to believe that there will be "democracy" in the Middle East.

The following is a video interview of Walid Shoebat and his son Theodore.  A little background here.  Walid is a convert from Islam to Christianity and the video is made by a Christian organization.  That will immediately disqualify anything they might have to present for a portion of our population who are 1) disinclined to lend credence to anything presented by a Christian organization and 2) are inclined to believe that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

If you can get past the first issue, you may find something of value in this video.  Let's just say that I had not heard of the Christian organization hosting this interview nor heard of the Shoebats... probably ignorance on my part.  Let's also just say that what they had to say does not surprise me one bit.


SUNDAY, APRIL 01, 2012

2012 IS HERE


Monday, September 24, 2012

Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] Sued


The EPA does many questionable things and, in the name of protecting us, subjects us to many economic risks.  But who knew the EPA was in the business of experimenting on humans with toxins and carcinogins... and not even informing their "test subjects" what was occurring!

From Steven Milloy via Anthony Watts:

Major Landmark lawsuit filed against the EPA for immoral illegal human experimentation

This is just one more unethical, immoral, and in this case illegal, action undertaken by the Obama administration in the name of going "Forward."  It seems abortion can now take place any time between conception and old age.

The replacement of the stars and stripes with this is more than symbolic.

When Telling The Truth About Islamists Is Hate


An interesting article with an interesting premise:

They are, perhaps, the most dangerous words ever written: 
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” 
That, for those who don’t know, is the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. 
What makes those words dangerous is that they guarantee a freedom that, in the wrong hands (or even the right hands) can cause upset and outrage, even topple regimes. America confers that kind of power — freedom of expression, unfettered by government — equally to the conscientious and the flighty, the modest and the mighty, the noble and the most vile.
What makes them even more dangerous is that it allow men like Leonard Pitts to write such tripe.

As Islamic extremists continue a campaign of anti-American violence over “Innocence of Muslims,” a risibly wretched piece of Islamophobic propaganda, it is apparently an article of faith for many in that world that the film represents a U.S. government attack upon Islam. CNN’s Fareed Zakaria says they have “a lack of ... understanding of freedom of speech and opinion.” 
That’s putting it mildly. And that ignorance has become a potentially deadly flashpoint in recent years. It used to be that only a few high-profile, theoretically responsible, individuals had access to the world stage and the ability to affect world events. But with the advent of YouTube, Google, Facebook and Twitter, it is now conceivable some shlub in Fort Lauderdale could start a riot in Mogadishu. So the most dangerous words ever written have become more dangerous still. [full article here]
Actually, Leonard, the words are not dangerous.  It is the mixture of Islamist ideas and Muslim ignorance of basic human civilized behavior that is dangerous.  It is not having enough intelligence and understanding and confidence in your own philosophy that you have to respond with violence because you are unable to refute simple words spoken or written in bad taste.

The temper tantrums of 3-year olds with guns... justified by the scribblings of the half-educated.

2012 IS HERE


Sunday, September 23, 2012

The New United States Of Obama Flag


Mark Steyn has an interesting perspective on this bit of symbolism:

I see the Obama campaign has redesigned the American flag, and very attractive it is too. Replacing the 50 stars of a federal republic is the single “O” logo symbolizing the great gaping maw of spendaholic centralization. And where the stripes used to be are a handful of red daubs, eerily mimicking the bloody finger streaks left on the pillars of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi as its staff were dragged out by a mob of savages to be tortured and killed. [read the rest here]
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
George Orwell, "1984", first sentence

2012 IS HERE


Thomas Jefferson Would Have Shaken His Head


... has its own rewards.

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Charles Yancey, 1816

2012 IS HERE


Saturday, September 22, 2012

iPhone 5 Satisfies


The four iPhone 5 units showed up yesterday morning via UPS.  I had backed up the old iPhone 3 models and began the activation process.  Surprisingly, it was really quite easy to follow the on-screen directions and get things up and running.  For some reason, some of the apps on the old iPhones did not get transferred to the new ones, but that was easy enough to get them manually and install them.

The difference in processor speed was blindingly obvious.

Our youngest son stopped by to pick his up and go through the process of activation.  He was upgrading from a 4S model so the difference was not nearly as great.  But he was excited by some of the new features.

We are at the edge of the metro area and he said the phone showed 4G on the way back... he called to let us know that as he got closer to the urban area the speed picked up considerably as he entered a true LTE network.  Download speed, according to his phone app, was 12 mbps and upload was 5 mbps.  I think that's double our internet line speed.  If it gets out this far, we might end up doing more "browsing" on the iPhones and iPad than the computer.

My wife, of course, could care less about those things.  She was only excited about the camera now that it takes really good pictures and has HD video recording... grandchildren, you know.  I was excited about the Waze and myCaddie Pro apps that use GPS and are soooo much faster than they were on the iPhone 3.  I don't need my dedicated GPS and golf rangefinder anymore.  I think I might like the Siri function, but I'll hold judgment on that.

My son said the one really important thing to do is be sure you have the Find iPhone app and have the restrictions on so that you can effectively find and shut down the phone remotely if you lose it.  It prevents someone else accessing a lot of your personal information.

The only thing that disappointed me was that the new connection to the iPhone makes all of our iPhone car chargers obsolete unless we spend $30 for an adapter... more than the charges cost apiece.  That doesn't seem Kosher.

2012 IS HERE


Friday, September 21, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

These Puns Were Unintentional... Maybe


Spotted at WND:


That's a twofer.

2012 IS HERE


Michigan Likes Obama But I Don't Know Why


Does not compute.  From The Detroit News:

  • Census paints bleak picture as 1 in 5 hit poverty level in Michigan

    Incomes are down, food stamp use is up and the effects of the recession are still hammering Michiganians as the poverty rate continues to rise in both urban and suburban areas.
  • Poll: Fueled by women voters, Obama widens lead in Michigan

    Actress Natalie Portman speaks at the Obama for America's Ohio Women Vote 2012 summit in Cincinnati on Wednesday. Both presidential campaigns feature women prominently in campaign stops. (Gary Landers / Associated Press)President Barack Obama has opened up a double-digit lead over GOP challenger Mitt Romney in Michigan fueled by a wave of women moving toward the Democratic president following the national party conventions.

  • I guess I don't understand women.  The worse a guy does, the more they like him.

    Oh, it must be the birth control thing.  $50 [max] a month is more important than a job.  Oh, it must be abortion rights.  They don't believe Romney.  Oh, it must be health care.  They don't believe Romney.  He's not as cool as Obama.  Okay, now I understand.

    2012 IS HERE


    Money On Obama To Be Re-elected


    If you follow Intrade, you will see the results of people who vote with their money... not just their opinions.

    2012 IS HERE


    Socialism: Lowering The Water Level For All Of Us... Almost


    From American Thinker:

    September 20, 2012

    The Worldwide Consequences of Obama's Manufactured Crisis Strategy

    By James Simpson

    While socialist leaders live in lavish style, in every country where socialist policies are imposed, they measurably worsen the lives of everyday citizens in direct proportion to their scope.  Even countries with vast natural resources, like Russia, founder because their economies are constructed on the fatally flawed economic principles of socialism.
    Despite this, they still manage to live on, in many cases hanging by mere threads for years.
    The dirty little secret of socialism is that it cannot survive without capitalism.  Capitalist countries provide the resources necessary for these socialist governments to continue.  In addition to providing a market for their goods, Western nations keep socialist countries afloat through grants and loans from the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and other governmental institutions, as well as huge investments by private companies. [read full article]
    Here in Michigan, that strategy has been pushed by the Service Employees International Union to the tune of $32 million siphoned off from families and caregivers.
    Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Asks MERC to Reverse Forced Unionization of Home-Based Caregivers
    Seeks return of $3 million in skimmed 'dues'
    MIDLAND — The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation today asked the Michigan Employment Relations Commission for a declaratory ruling reversing a 2005 MERC decision that allowed the forced unionization of tens of thousands of home-based caregivers. These victims, most of whom are family members caring for disabled loved ones who receive a Medicaid stipend, have been classified as government employees and have seen $32 million in “union dues” skimmed by the Service Employees International Union since November 2005.
    “The commission needs to recognize that these people are not and never were government employees, especially in light of recent state legislation,” said Patrick J. Wright, director of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation. “We saw this same scheme take place with home-based day care providers. It was wrong then, and it is wrong now.”  [full article here]
    This is part of Obama's vision of the "fair" future... "Forward!"

    2012 IS HERE


    U.S. Jobs In Neutral For More Than A Decade


    The economy of the United States has been in a stall for more than a decade as measured by jobs growth over the past 35 years.  While it is easy to blame all sorts of external forces, the primary forces leading to this malaise have been internal policies in the areas of finance, trade, taxation, and regulation.  In a word, the U.S. has become increasingly... noncompetitive.

    From 1977 to 2000, employment grew at about 20,000,000 jobs per decade.  From 2001 through mid-2012, there has been no growth. [source]

    All of the quantitative easing that has contributed to U.S. structural debt has done nothing to move the line above the 2001 watermark.  The U.S. is barely treading water three years into a "recovery."

    So... President Obama and Mitt Romney... what are your specific plans to address our noncompetitiveness?  Another Quantitative Easing?  Ho hum.

    Click here for an extraordinary related video by economist Thomas Sowell.

    2012 IS HERE


    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

    Fighting Fire With Fire


    This one falls under the heading of "Stupidity has its own rewards."

    From Forbes:

    Pakistani Protester Dies From Smoke Of Burning American Flags
    A Pakistani man, one of approximately 10,000 people participating in an anti-American rally, has died.  The cause of death?  Complications from inhaling the smoke of burning American flags. 
    Not sure if this qualifies him for 72 virgins.  Will have to check with local imam.

    2012 IS HERE


    A New Yom Kippur War?



    Surprise drill: IDF gets ready for war
    On 9/11/12, Islamists attacked the U.S. again.  It was not a surprise that they would do it on the anniversary of that infamous attack of 9/11/01.  They are infatuated with their own crude symbolism.  What could be learned from that?
    The Yom Kippur WarRamadan War or October War (Hebrewמלחמת יום הכיפורים‎ Milẖemet Yom HaKipurim or מלחמת יום כיפור Milẖemet Yom Kipur;Arabicحرب أكتوبر‎ ḥarb ʾUktōbar or حرب تشرين ḥarb Tišrīn), also known as the 1973 Arab–Israeli War and the Fourth Arab–Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria.. [source]
    This year Yom Kippur is September 26.
    My brother and his family live in Jerusalem - he is a minister - his office is close to one of Israel 's largest underground military bases. 
    He called me last night which is very unusual - usually it is email.
    He called to tell me that he is sending his family back to the US immediately due to what he is seeing happen within the last week and what he is being told by his military contacts in both the Israel and US military. 
    He said he is seeing with his own eyes military movements the likes of which he has never seen in his 20+ years in Israel . 
    What he called a massive redeployment and protective tactics of forces is underway. 
    Over the last two days he has seen anti-aircraft missile deployments throughout the Jerusalem area including 3 mobile units that he can see from his office windows. 
    In addition, he has seen very large Israeli armored columns moving fast toward the Sinia where Egypt has now moved in Armor. [read the rest here]
    The U.S. did not "connect the dots" for 9/11/12... even after receiving a warning two days in advance.  Israel appears to be connecting the dots related to Islamic nations' hostile actions and preparing for that connection.  The U.S. takes Islamists' threats lightly; Israel does not.

    Could it be that the Israelis just lack "Muslim sensitivity training?"

    2012 IS HERE


    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

    More Muslim Sensitivity Training



    Christian organization to represent Army vet after Islamic organizations succeed in his ouster

    Shocking! Christian preacher burns pages of the Koran at protest in small southern town

    Those French are so brave.
    French magazine risks Muslim ire with Mohammed cartoons
    Fears that a wave of anger in the Islamic world could spread to France mounted on Tuesday as it emerged that Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine was planning to publish cartoons caricaturing the Prophet Mohammed. [more]

    Strangely, Muslims fail to understand that the world is not laughing at the cartoons to which they object.  The world is laughing at the Muslims for objecting so inappropriately to the cartoons.

    Tell me again what the great attraction is to Islam.  It can't be it's spirit of human love and kindness.

    2012 IS HERE


    Mitt Romney Says The Obvious


    Politics is the art of deceit and deception.  It's obvious that Mitt Romney, while a pretty good businessman, is sorely lacking in political skills:

    The new footage was posted on Tuesday on the website of the liberal investigative magazine Mother Jones, which said it was taken at a fundraiser in May in Boca Raton, Florida. 
    Mr Romney is shown saying that Palestinians are "committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel". 
    "The Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace," he says, adding that "the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish". [more]
    That these comments can evoke political outrage from the left is evidence that stating the obvious is about the same degree of political blasphemy as ungracious cartoons of the Prophet.

    Truth about Islam and Muslims hurts, so never say it.

    2012 IS HERE


    Muslim Sensitivity Training


    Debbie Schlussel has a post titled:

    EXCLUSIVE: Homeland Security Agents Forced to do Muslim Sensitivity Training on Eve of 9/11

    Well, I think that should be a reciprocal program.  Muslims should be required to take sensitivity training about non-Muslims.  And if they don't or refuse, then the Muslim sensitivity program should be cancelled.  Let's start with all imams.  Classes will be taught by rabbis.  Refreshments will be served by Oscar Mayer.

    We believe in fairness.

    2012 IS HERE


    Monday, September 17, 2012

    Blinded By The Solar Light


    It ought to be interesting to see if or when this project breaks even for Apple.

    This Is What a 20 Megawatt Solar Farm Looks Like

    Read the story here.

    Don't you wonder what this does to the local weather and the vision of pilots flying overhead as the sun is reflected upward?  Well, at least it doesn't kill birds, but it can't be to great for the local ecology.

    2012 IS HERE


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    Use the SEARCH BLOG feature at the upper left. For example, try "Global Warming".

    You can also use the "LABELS" below or at the end of each post to find related posts.

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    There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
    Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
    “The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
    ... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
    It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.
    - O. Henry
    ... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
    The Independent (UK)

    Tracking Interest Rates

    Tracking Interest Rates


    SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

    February 3, 2006
    Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
    August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
    December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
    March 28, 2007
    The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
    The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

    July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
    August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
    September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
    September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
    October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
    "Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

    "Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

    December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
    [Image from:]
    December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
    "The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
    January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
    January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
    January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
    “The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
    January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
    The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
    January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

    What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
    Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

    About Me

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    Michigan, United States
    Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)