Saturday, September 26, 2009

SAR #9268/Weekender

If you have food medicine and a child does not,

how much should you charge?

Paradigm Shift: Initial unemployment claims declined again in the latest report. Not much, but a decline. Continuing claims, on the other hand, remain very high. One way to read this is that we are headed to a jobless recovery, where we stop losing jobs but do not add any, and 10% unemployment becomes the norm.

Quiz: Under the Constitution, the authority to set foreign policy, specifically wars, resides with: (a) Congress. (b) the President. (c) Generals Petraeus and McChrystal. (d) Constitution?

Some are More Equal than Others: Six Republican senators want you to pay ATT, Comcast, Verison and such an additional fee to go to the head of the line on the internet, while Microsoft and Google think that first come first served is a fine way to treat the public commons that is the internet. But the GOP never stands up for the people, unless the people represent big business and have checks in their hands.

Assignment: Given that Commercial Real Estate sales in 2Q09 were $5.2 billion, an 80% decline y/y and a 95% decline from 2Q07, write a happy press release about the great recovery now underway.

Evolving, or Not: Research show that children who are spanked have lower IQs. Another case of acorn, tree.

Salvation's Price: If new oil discoveries can be brought to market only through advanced technologies that cost $150 a barrel and the economy begins to tank when oil gets to $80 a barrel, how useful are the new finds?

What If: The Air Force is so enamored of its Predators, maybe the Navy's jealous and wants Predator Subs; small, silent, lying quietly at selected locations, waiting, waiting...

As Good As Gold: In 1988 the median house went for 160 ounces of gold. By 2005 it was up to 490 ounces of gold. Today it's back to 160 ounces of gold. How much is that in barrels?

Volunteers, Please: The Fed has about $10 billion of the $300 billion it had allotted to buy Treasury bonds. In that foreign purchases have been concentrated on the shorter dated bonds, once the Fed stops buying the longer notes, who is going to step up?

Poster Child: In May, Mexico's Cantarell was producing 713,000 barrels of oil a day. Today it is down to 500,000 bpd – a 30% output drop in 4 months. At this rate they'll soon be buying oil to pour back down the hole.

Left Behind: As long as the US educational system results in a populace that does not understand evolution, it will remain a second rate, failed system. Without a grounding in science, there is no hope that the citizens will understand – much less support – efforts to control carbon emissions, extend stem cell research, or curtail our suicidal dependence on fossil fuels.

Porn O'Graph: Credit where credit was due.

Matinee: It's the weekend, spend 20 minutes watching icebergs being born.


TulsaTime said...

I have a theory about the popular rejection of science in general. Ever since the 50's, it was technology and science that were going to bring the new golden age. All the flying cars and 3 day work weeks, better living thru modern chemistry. We were all supposed to be in the high life by now.

Instead we have wage slavery, endless pollution, climate change, failed society, and the best government money can buy. It's enough to make you question the teachings of society. And since America is such a fertile breeding ground for fringe ideas, POOF!! Instant mass ignorance, now in the new easy-opening cans.

I'll just sit and stare at the sun while I wait for the rapture.


Anonymous said...

I agree with Peter Hitchens.

Hitchens sees evolution as a speculative and unfalsifiable theory which cannot be observed in progress. He reasons that if it took place in the past it did so before there were any human witnesses, and that if it is taking place now it is operating so slowly that our civilization is likely to perish long before it has been able to record it in action. He maintains that enthusiasts for Darwinism often mistake adaptation of existing species for a far more ambitious process required for evolution. He therefore contends that the theory of evolution is wholly unlike other scientific theories with which it is often compared. He regularly likens belief in evolution to belief in a religion, on the basis that religious claims also cannot be tested and similarly have their origins not in certain knowledge but in the preferences of the believer. In support of his skepticism he cites Karl Popper's remarks on the scientific status of evolution, in which Popper confesses to being disturbed by the apparent tautology of the theory of natural selection.

Hitchens argues that neither he nor anyone else knows how life began or how the realm of nature assumed its present form. He says he is willing to accept the possibility that evolutionists may be right, and asks that they will extend the same courtesy to theists. He agrees with evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins that a belief in the truth of evolutionary theory, properly understood, is incompatible with a theist position. He maintains that the question remains a matter of choice, and that intelligent people should be free to decide for themselves which explanation they prefer. He does not criticize evolutionary theory, believing it to be an ingenious possible explanation of the origins of species, but one which he himself prefers not to embrace.

Like many other skeptics on this subject, Hitchens does not subscribe to a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis. In a review of God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by his brother, he stated that, "many decades have passed since I fancied the story of Adam and Eve was literal truth, if I ever did."

CK, your premise regarding the shortcomings of our educational system is as much adolescent as it is risible.

TulsaTime said...

I just saw how the next 'leg down' gets kicked off. It will be the oil price, cuz all the hedges and playahs have been hyping the recovery. But last week saw the break in the price push, because the market can see there is no demand for it.

Since all the hot money a-holes are leveraged to the max, just about any move back down will break somebody. And with all the panic just below the surface, it would only take one to break to set off the rush for the doors.

Hey, it may not be much, but it materialized out of the haze of working on Sunday.


CKMichaelson said...

TT - It's rather a close race as to which of a sizable array of options will be the trigger. Oil has two shots - one is the price collapse due to a lack of demand (yuor version) or a brief price run-up that kills whatever rejuvenation the economy had, then a crash of cradle, baby and all.

But the banks are a close second, with the bad loans growing and growing.

A far distant third, the realization could set in that there's not been any recovery beyond the stimulus funds and propaganda, the air goes out of the balloon and phusssh.
But you are most certainly right, one break - any one break - is all it will take. 'Skins lost, think I'll take a nap.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your great blog.

By the way, the weird anti-science "anonymous" post above is copied completely from:

I suggest that this person try reading "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" (1995) by Daniel Dennett, as a starter.

CKMichaelson said...

Anony 1119 - TYVM as the texter twits would say. Proves my point - for 'cut and paste' passes for thought these day. And the recommended reading is a fine start (as is any volume of Stephen Gould's essays on the bedstand), but thinking about what you've read is also a required step.

Glad you like the blog - ckm.

fajensen said...

Since all the hot money a-holes are leveraged to the max, just about any move back down will break somebody

I would like to see that but there is absolutely no chance of that.

They will just go back to the FED for some more money to bet at the roulette! With infinite money available they will eventually win no matter how stupid they are!!

fajensen said...

@ What If:

Druglords will be the main users of drone technology once it becomes commoditised.

Once the tech is commoditised, it then becomes widely available to everyone, including crazies, misfits and bored teenagers.

It is poetic justice that the US administration soon will have to worry about smart machines sneaking up on them after all the random drive-by shootings in Pakistan. A precedent has been set.

CKMichaelson said...

fajensen - An excellent point about the (near?) future application of various drone technologies...

ventu said...

Another highly suspect report....

If the parents have low IQ's, it is likely the children will. There actually is correlation on that.

The "spanking expert" also links spanking to deviant sexual behavior and, in the 3rd chart, post-traumatic stress. Yet the 3rd chart does not distinguish between moderate spanking and beating. It just uses the description "spanked or beat alot". Beating, especially when done "alot", might cause all manner of mental and psychological issues that have no relationship whatsoever to spanking. But, hey, let's just lump them together to get the desired result for the report.
This little "detail" skews the the alleged correlation, if there really ever was one.

This would seem to be just another bogus "study", with a result that was backfit.

It must be true-- liberals just can't get the hang of that critical analysis thing.