Thursday, December 15, 2011

American Sovereignty?

The Obama Regime first wanted to treat terrorists like citizens, trying them in regular courts like criminals with all the civil rights they were not due for making war against the United States. Now Congress proposes treating American citizens like terrorists.

This is part of a disturbing trend to discount what being an American citizen means. Perhaps to set the globalization stage for ceding authority to the UN? After all, the UN has certainly done more good things for the world than America! Have you ever read the UN constitution? The only guiding principle is that the UN is supreme over all other authority, and at the UN the dictators all get a vote.

People who enter the country and work using stolen Social Security numbers should be given amnesty for identify theft and the right to vote and automatically registered without any ID?  Citizenship means nothing compared to getting these "unregistered Democrats" to the polls!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Obama blames unemployment on the internet!

Obama says businesses are doing more with less thanks to the internet, and that why unemployment is so high!

This reveals either a high level of economic ignorance on his part or a belief that Americans as a whole are that ignorant. If this were true the automobile and the increased mobility and productivity it provided would have destroyed the American economy by reducing employment of farriers, bridle and whip makers, and feed store workers and left us unable to defend ourselves in WW2.

Increased productivity means increased wealth for all and increased employment, unless government screws it up with over regulation and/or misapplication of resources. The only segment that benefits from over-regulation is government workers, many of whom pay dues to Democrat controlled labor unions

There are many historical examples of governments trying to legislate prosperity in direct conflict with the most basic rules of economics.  At one point Australia made it illegal for traveling salespeople to drive themselves by requiring them to hire a driver instead. Employment would surely be increased! The actual effect was to increase the price of what they sold, so they sold less and in many cases could no longer make a living as traveling salespeople. 

But government ignorance sometimes even extends to basic laws of physics!  A bill was once introduced in the Arkansas legislature to "simplify calculations" by legally defining the constant pi to be 3.00 instead of its actual value!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A view to where America is going under progressive Democrat socialism

Corruption is systematic, political competition is less, and few are confidant that the police or courts can protect them. Does that sound familiar?

Russian communists have always been masters of propaganda and doublespeak, from Potemkin villages to grandiose and totally unrealistic 7 year plans, using twisted statistics to support the idea that progress is being made, and adverb filled platitudes to lull the people into thinking that things are okay.

Sounds like the Obama regimes's labor statistics and the so called 8.3% unemployment rate, which if you include all of the people so discouraged that they are no longer looking for work is closer to 16%.  Too many people want to accept the idea that government can somehow give you stability, permanence, or freedom from worry. Government cannot do that. Government cannot reduce the risk that is inherent in life on earth. It can move it around, and right now it is reducing risk for members of the ruling political class and those who pay them under the table, and thus increasing it for everyone else.

What government should do is reduce the corruption, not except and excuse it for friends of those in government.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Solyndra Chu Chu

Despite Stephen Chu's testimony, Solyndra's problem was NOT that the market price of PV modules dropped unexpectedly.  Many investors were expecting poly-silicon prices to drop when new production capacity came online, and most non silicon PV plays using alternative materials like CIGS or Cd-Te had such price erosion built into their forecast scenarios.  The DOE certainly knew this was a possibility long before the Solyndra decisions were made.

Solyndra, and all the thin film producers except perhaps First Solar (which just passed 5 GW of  production), have a problem with how much it costs to get down their learning curve (see ).  In the long term they have a realistic chance to have a cost advantage over silicon, and CIGS should have a further cost advantage over Cd-Te.  But all of the thin film business plans so far have been wildly optimistic about how fast they can get their prices down, and thus greatly underestimated the losses they will pile up during early low volume production at prices that are usually higher than an efficient silicon based producer. The market price erosion certainly exacerbated this, but Solyndra and most others were not economically viable even if module prices stayed high.

Unless DOE was privy to some incredible materials, labor, and overhead cost and yield data from Solyndra that no one else has heard about, Solyndra's cost of goods sold (COGS) was way too high to be viable even if PV module prices had not dropped. This is why their IPO was stopped, not "poor market conditions".  Also, Solyndra's propensity for huge non production staffing and administrative costs (like lobbyists) meant they would have lost big even if their production costs had been better.

The Solyndra investors used political influence and played the DOE to get the taxpayers to take all the downside risk, while allowing themselves to retain most of the upside potential for gain. This is exactly what Democrats have been accusing the evil Wall Street firms of! Stephen Chu was just the designated cut out and bag holder, a role apparently that having a Nobel prize does not protect you from!

The real irony, which would be amusing if it weren't so financially painful, is that all of the these firms were competing to be "the next First Solar" ( and most of them did it, i.e., the initial investors got completely burned out and lost everything, and profits, if any, will accrue to the second or third capitalization.

The lesson we should all learn is that only markets can pick winners, and only markets can accurately monetize technology commercialization. If we let governments do anything other than give R&D tax breaks, we all lose!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

What's the end game for OWS?

The Occupy Wall Street protests seem to have taken up space in the midstream media that would have otherwise been used by Solyndra, Beacon Power, Fiskar, Fast and Furious, and growing calls for Eric Holder to resign. So they have probably accomplished their tactical purpose for the Obama White House.

Which leads us to speculate, one year ahead of the 2012 general election, what are the middle and end games  for the OWS 'movement'.

As more and more people no longer receive unemployment benefits that have maxed out, some of them will just hang out at the OWS sites instead of looking for work.  This means more chances for trouble and favorable MSNBC style coverage without the organizers having to spend more money.

The end game scenarios are more disturbing.

Most likely is an orchestrated widespread upswing in disruptive actions and real and threatened violence, in order to try to suppress voter turnout of the law abiding kind.

Unlikely but possible; enough violence to allow martial law to be declared just before the election.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Budget Bumble

The "budget battle" is depressing in 37 different ways, but let's focus on two. The press, and the GOP leadership.

The press has done no substantive research on the underlying facts and has taken no position on what will and will not work to bring the economy back.  They simply repeat what the various spokespeople say, spinning it with headlines, vocal inflection and facial expression. Obviously they like Obama and want to end up reporting that he "won" and will now certainly be re-elected.  "Those people" who differ with Obama's wishes are simply not as smart and sophisticated as "we" are, but will our anointed leader be able to fool them again or will they insist on being really tacky?

The GOP leadership is empowered by the new group of freshman Tea Party firebrands, but unfortunately they still have habits formed in the years of Democrat Domination. They still see themselves as having to make a deal just to get keep getting invited to the party. They see the press as representative of the people in general, like it was 1960, rather than largely representative of liberals, as it is today.  They are "playing the old tapes over and over" and repeating their previous destructive behavior.

There is only so much tax revenue that can be collected from our economic engine without slowing or stopping it.  Lots of reading material out there for wonks, but it looks to me like 20% of GDP is the maximum we can expect to get.  So that's the most government can spend.  Debt, or as the British say, "gearing" works well for profitable businesses, but not for governments.  "Obama-nomics" seems to insists on collecting and or borrowing 25-30% of GDP and redistributing the excess amount above 20% to achieve "economic justice".  It also seems to ignore the concept that 20% of a strong and growing economy generates more tax revenue (and allows "do-gooders" to do more good)  than 30% of an overloaded and under performing one.

Democrats are like a teenage driver who doesn't understand gears, transmissions, fuel/air ratios or back pressure - when they want to go, they stomp on the accelerator!  If they are going up a steep hill, they just stomp harder and harder and look for someone to blame for the lack of response.

Republicans seem to be willing to  let the engine be damaged and try to pay the bill later, rather than have a confrontation with the the driver or insisting that they learn how the car really works.

And both sides are pretending that there is no real danger of blowing the engine completely, or driving the car off the cliff. I wish that were true.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Faster and Furiouser

Sometimes the simplest explanation can also be the most disturbing.

Liberal activists in the DOJ believe and wanted to sell the silly syllogism that guns from America were fueling the drug trade in Mexico - and that was a reason to trample on Second Amendment rights in the USA.  But they never could find any hard evidence via the after the fact "tracing" programs run on guns seized in Mexico, and they never say which USA gun stores were selling RPGs to Mexican cartels!

But if you deliberately set up a program to let hundreds of guns go from US gun stores into Mexico, tell the gun stores who report suspicious purchasers to "go ahead and sell them and then shut up", disable network access to make the guns invisible to local LEOs for a while, and transfer ATF and DOJ people who are not "down with the struggle" around so no one really knows the whole story - well then you have produced hard serial number evidence to justify some "executive orders" restricting gun sales in the USA!  Let's start with semi auto rifles, eh?

And the Border Patrol agent and other persons yet unknown who died as a result of this scheme, well, they served the greater cause of Liberalism, whether they wanted to or not.  After all, they were probably "bitter clingers" anyway!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The "Big Deal"

Obama's announced desire to "make a big deal on the budget" today probably means even their own people cannot keep jiggering the numbers.  They know the economy won't go sideways for long - it will most likely continue downward from here to November of 2012.  So their only hope for 2012 is to either pin it entirely on the GOP or at least get them to share the blame.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Civics is to Politics as Olympic Wrestling is to Professional Wresting

In Olympic wrestling, you actually try to win the contest, judged on an objective basis.  In civics, you actually want a good result for the body politic.

In professional wrestling, you want to be entertaining and get paid - everything else is unimportant.  Not just secondary, but almost irrelevant.  And in politics, the only contest is the election (like ratings on TV) and what happens after the election matters only if it affects the next election.

This is a real advantage for some politicians - they only care about winning.   They don't have to worry about getting any real results, or truth, or reality, or being objective about anything.  They don't have to worry about actually accomplishing anything, and they never want to be evaluated objectively.  They just want to have their promises be believable between the day they make them and the day that people decide how to vote.

So your job as a citizen is to try to figure out which politicians are using this approach. Then the decisions get even tougher - but we'll talk more about that later.