Friday, September 26, 2008

Miller Park

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Google Chrome Test Drive

Finally got around to trying out Google Chrome (it isn't available for Mac OS X yet so I had to put it on my old Dell laptop). So far, so good. I went and read the Chrome Comic Book to learn a little bit more about the innards, and it looks like this will be the most solid browser ever constructed. The fact that it was built from the ground up by Google to be stable and fast, even at the cost of a few features, sounds like manna from Heaven to me.

In a perfect world, Chrome would be adapted to the iPhone. It's become perfectly clear that while mobile Safari is light years ahead of other cell phone browsers, it could use some work. Mobile Chrome would make the iPhone even more joyous to use. Just a suggestion.

Commentary: Bailouts will lead to rough economic ride -

Ron Paul on the financial crisis.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Crisis started with Clinton

I knew it was only a matter of time before the housing bubble burst. Against my better judgment, I bought a condo at the absolute peak of the bubble, May 2006. I now sit on a property that has probably lost 10% of it's value in two years. How did I know the bubble was going to burst? One only needed to listen to the plethora of mortgage company commercials blasting over the radio, TV, and Internet. Everybody was just giving money away. No money down. Interest only loans. Variable interest rates that were bound to go up. The kind of ridiculous deals that anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of personal finance should have stayed clear of. Finance professionals should and probably did know better, but when the government was there subsidizing this idiocy, who can blame them?

Therein lies the root of this crisis: Government. Again. Don't buy into all this capitalism-failed mumbo-jumbo emanating from the mainstream media. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, GOVERNMENT sponsored entities, provided the means and the money for loans to be written for people that had no business owning homes (the subject of everyone has to own a home is a topic for a later post). Bill Clinton started this charade back in the 1990s by demanding that banks offer loans to minority borrowers, whether they qualified for them or not. Think of it as affirmative action loaning. And if banks didn't comply, Clinton was going to send in Janet Reno of the FBI and Waco invasion fame after them. If I ran a bank with under that scenario, I'd probably have started throwing the money around too.

The banks, however, didn't have to hold onto these garbage loans for long though. Thanks to some very creative eggheads, loan-backed securities were born. Investors were hungry for something that actually returned more then a CD, and it wasn't going to be in stocks after that bubble burst. Why not bundle all of these mortgages together, with their higher interest rates, into bonds? The fact that these mortgages had a high chance of default never entered into the equation, because the banks wanted them off their hands and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were there to back the whole thing up. And since Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were backed up by the government and housing prices were going to go up forever, nothing could go wrong. Everyone knew Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were too big to fail. Right?

Well, we now know the answer to that question. Freddie and Fannie failed, epically as the kids say, and managed to take down all of Wall Street with them. Now only the most massive government bailout in the history of mankind will prevent another Great Depression from happening. But it was the government, specifically the policies of Clinton and the Democrats in Congress who benefited from Freddie and Fannie campaign contributions, that made this whole thing possible. Everyone's now looking to Big Government to fix this. But who's going to be around to bail out the U.S. Treasury when it fails?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Michigan shows little progress

Michigan's rebuilding project is going to be lengthy and painful, as today's game against Notre Dame graphically showed. Fumbles. Poor tackling. Dropped passes. Interceptions. One of the ugliest games the Wolverines have played in the last decade. Ominously, it does not look it's going to improve anytime soon. There's a QB controversy to resolve between Threet and Sheridan, although Threet looked much better today. Someone has to step up and be the go to receiver, something that should never happen at Receiver U. The defense, which was supposed to be strength of this team, has to tackle and cover better then they did today. Right now Michigan will probably be favored to win two more games this year, against Toledo and Minnesota. They will probably go 3-9 this year, missing a bowl game for the first time in over three decades. Wolverine fans may be forgiving for one year, but if this continues next year expect Rich Rodriguez to be on a very hot seat.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Time to upgrade to iPhone OS 2.1

iPhone 2.1 is here and I'm about to take the plunge. Here's hoping Safari crashes go down to one a day!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Crazy lady interrupts McCain speech

Some crazy lady broke into the RNC tonight, but McCain took it in stride. Nice recovery from what could have been a major distraction.

Palin performance impresses

Well, we now know why McCain picked Governor Palin for VP: She has fired up the GOP base like no else, save for perhaps Ronald Reagan himself. No foriegn policy experience? Half a term as governor? Pregnant unmarried 17 year old daughter? Who cares! This lady has conservatives salivating, opening their checkbooks, knocking on doors, making phone calls. Things I never thought would happen in a McCain campaign. Sarah Palin stepped up to the plate and slammed Obama, Rush Limbaugh style. Her stint as mayor likened to a community organizer with actual responsibilities? Priceless.

McCain now has the right fully behind him, and for the first time looks like he really has some kind of shot at winning this thing. He needs to capitalize with a good performance of his own Thursday night, lest he have people wondering why Palin isn't at the top of ticket.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Monday, September 01, 2008

RealClearPolitics - Articles - The Libertarian Case for Palin

Sarah Palin as a libertarian?

Sent from my iPhone

Sarah Palin's daughter pregnant

Well, it's been a busy week for Sarah Palin now, hasn't it? First, she gets tapped to be John McCain's VP, and now she announces to the world that her unmarried 17-year old daughter is five months pregnant! Hoo-yah! On days like these, I'm glad I'm not a Republican anymore. This way I don't have to justify McCain's unprecedented incompetence. He either didn't know about the pregnancy when he picked her (incompetent vetting process) or worse, as is being reported, McCain DID know about and picked Palin anyway (this type of incompetence defies description). Really, did he actually think this news would help his campaign? The fact that Palin's daughter is keeping the baby is great, gives her even more pro-life credentials, but considering she already had a Down Syndrome baby, she has proven she is as pro-life as one could possibly be. Much more likely, the MSM and late night talk show hosts will have a field day with this, and any positives Palin brought to the ticket just got wiped out. Seriously, I don't know if I want a guy who can't realize these obvious facts making decisions in the White House.

This whole thing blows my mind. Republicans have always shoved the family value issue in everyone's face, year after year, and yet most of the scandals you read about today usually involve members of the GOP! The best McCain can hope for is the media keeps their eyes glued to Hurricane Gustav and no one notices, although in a 24 hour all news all the time world, that's practically impossible. Let the countdown to the Obama presidency officially begin....

Hurricane Gustav downgraded

Well, "storm of the century" Gustav wound up being downgraded to a category 2 hurricane, although I'm sure that's little consolation for the state of Louisiana. Still, it could of been a lot worse, as anyone who went through Katrina could tell you.

Labor Day run

Just an absolutely beautiful day out there today. I ran for over an hour, not exactly sure on the distance as I didn't wear the Garmin Forerunner, but I'm sure I covered at least six miles. I'm adopting a new strategy of just running up and down streets in the various neighborhoods here in Tinley. I'll try and run about two miles per neighberhood, then move over to the adjoining neighborhood. I'll do different streets in different neighborhoods so I won't get bored. There's actually quite a lot of miles of streets to be covered on the streets of the neighborhoods within 3 miles of my house, so there's a lot of variety out there.