Monday, October 26, 2009

The New York Times is so out of touch

No spread on page 1 of today's New York Times. With the Yankees capturing their 40th pennant, one would think that the Gray Lady would give up a little space (and a lot of love) for the damn Yankees. But last night's victory earned no front page love.

Is the New York Times that out of touch? Can this be one reason why fewer people are reading the dead-tree-medium?

Or is because the New York Times thinks of itself as bigger than New York?

It's a shame that notorious globalism has shunted aside notorious localism. New Yorkers have something to cheer; you would think this would be a big deal!

Yeah the Bushes have skin in the game

DAILY BEAST: A Bush Goes to War

Gotta see this1

It certainly might get loud and maybe a bit edifying. It Might Get Loud

Tunku's spyware ordeal.

Beware of spyware pop-ups.It's a time-killer and you will never get that part of your life back.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tough Windows 7 critic

John Dvorak is hard to please.
Having followed Microsoft's exploits since its inception, I can safely say the best anyone can hope for with Windows 7 is moderate success. For all of the fanfare surrounding the new OS, Win 7 is really just a Vista martini. The operating system may have two olives instead of one this time out, but it's still made with the same cheap Microsoft vodka.

A little Tin Machine in the morning.

Ah yes a little Tin Machine rattling in the morning. Bowie rules!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The smarter they are the dumber they are: Harvard edition

BLOOMBERG:
Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Harvard University’s failed bet that interest rates would rise cost the world’s richest school at least $500 million in payments to escape derivatives that backfired.

Harvard paid $497.6 million to investment banks during the fiscal year ended June 30 to get out of $1.1 billion of interest-rate swaps intended to hedge variable-rate debt for capital projects, the school’s annual report said. The university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said it also agreed to pay $425 million over 30 to 40 years to offset an additional $764 million in swaps.

The transactions began losing value last year as central banks slashed benchmark lending rates, forcing the university to post collateral with lenders, said Daniel Shore, Harvard’s chief financial officer. Some agreements require that the parties post collateral if there are significant changes in interest rates.

“When we went into the fall, we had some serious liquidity management issues we were dealing with and the collateral postings on the swaps was one,” Shore said in an interview yesterday. “In evaluating our liquidity position, we wanted to get some stability and some safety.”

Harvard sold $2.5 billion in bonds in the fiscal year, in part to pay for the swap exit, even as the school’s endowment recorded its biggest loss in 40 years, the report released yesterday said. This is the first time the university has detailed the cost of exiting its swaps.
What is it about Harvard alumni, you can always tell one but you can't tell him much. Blowback on know-it-alls.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Nobel Laureate Oliver Williamson's Econ 224 class

Nobel Laureate Oliver Williamson isn't exactly an economic formalist and we could probably use fewer of them these days. The course outline from his course in "The Economics of Institutions," is here. 

Hat tip: Organizations and Markets.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The enemy we face

Where is the Gay Left on this one?.
On October 6, 2009, Rahim Mohammadi was executed in Tabriz, a city in northwest Iran, after being convicted of sexual abuse and rape during sexual relations between males (a homosexual act called Lavat).

According to Rahim’s lawyer (here), Mr. Mohammad Mostafayi, there was not enough evidence presented to the court to prove such accusations; the court nevertheless decided that once a person is convicted of Lavat, he must be executed. Mostafayi, who had not been informed of the court’s decision once it was handed down - and was only contacted after his client Rahim had been executed - wrote a letter of further explanation to the authorities.
A complete lack of due process and not a peep from the Left!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

ALE agents seize 929 gallons of moonshine :: WRAL.com

What is it about fighting organized crime, government doesn't like the competition?

WRAL.COM: ALE agents seize 929 gallons of moonshine
Wilkesboro, N.C. — State Alcohol Law Enforcement agents seized 929 gallons of moonshine Wednesday and arrested a Wilkesboro man, authorities said Friday.

Roger Lee Nance, of 1117 Shew Ridge Mission Road, was charged with possession of non-tax paid liquor, possession of non-tax-paid liquor for the purpose of selling, and possession of equipment and ingredients intended for the use in the manufacture of an alcoholic beverage.

“This is one of the biggest seizures of white liquor I’ve seen come out of the mountains in my career,” ALE Director John Ledford said in statement.
I'm sure the government did it for the children!

More hate crimes against Christopher Columbus

Out of the plumbers bags of tricks. When will this be considered harrassment?
DENVER—A Denver parade in honor of Christopher Columbus is on—despite a phony e-mail that circulated Thursday saying the downtown celebration was canceled for lack of funds.

The Sons of Italy's Columbus Day Parade Committee in Denver was shocked to learn of the e-mail sent to the media, which was signed by Sons of Italy President Richard SaBell. The fake e-mail said protesters had "ruined" the event and tarnished the legacy of an Italian hero.

SaBell rushed to assure people the e-mail was a hoax after local media and The Associated Press started reporting Saturday's parade was off. He said he reported the phony e-mail to Denver police.

"I feel violated," said SaBell, adding he didn't know who was behind the hoax. "This whole thing is bogus. The parade was never off."

Denver police said its computer crimes unit is investigating.

Colorado has observed Columbus Day since 1907 and is credited with being first to make the day a state holiday. Columbus Day has since become a federal holiday.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Michelle Obama's roots

NYTimes:
“We are not separate tribes of Latinos and whites and blacks in America...We’ve all mingled, and we have done so for generations.”

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Autumnal joy at the Garlic Festival in Orange, MA

The North Quabbin Garlic Festival -- "the festival that stinks" -- takes place each year in Orange, MA. It's one of our favorite harvest-time events with enough to keep the kids busy for an entire afternoon.

The festival is also a great opportunity for artists from Central Massachusetts and beyond to plug their work. One of the most arresting sets of work belonged to sculptor James Kitchen, who works superbly with industrial junk.

We need to hear more from Marc Bonilla

Marc Bonilla's soaring intrepretation of Procol Harem's Whiter Shade of Pale

The rings of Saturn: How unions, with an assist from management, corrupt innovation

Hit & Run : Reason Magazine: "I'll bet you the Marine Corps takes women's concerns more seriously than GM/UAW does."

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Roman Polanski is no hero

Mark Steyn nails the artist who is above morality and the cause celebre of the Hollywood elite, Roman Polanski.

By the way, Woody Allen, sex pervert, should know better.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Unemployment lags signs of recovery but

This is pretty tough. REUTERS:U.S. Sept non-farm payrolls plunge 263,000
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected non-farm payrolls to drop 180,000 in September and the unemployment rate to rise to 9.8 percent from 9.7 percent the prior month. The poll was conducted before reports, including regional manufacturing surveys, showed some deterioration in employment measures.

The government revised job losses for July and August to show 13,000 more jobs lost than previously reported. Preliminary annual benchmark revisions, released together with September's employment report showed that total non-farm payroll employment for March would have to be revised down about 824,000.

Stubbornly high unemployment is viewed as the missing link in the economy's recovery from its worst recession in 70 years. The economy is believed to have started growing in the third quarter.

Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed people has risen by 7.6 million to 15.1 million, the department said. While the decline in payrolls has moderated from early this year, companies are still not hiring on a wide scale, likely waiting for a signal that the economic recovery is sustainable.