Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Oh, Zimbabwe!

How long have I been writing about how the U.S. is going to manage its debt problem (i.e., inflating it away)? Almost five years? The WSJ summarizes a NBER paperthat details how the U.S. could inflate away 20% of its debt in four years.

In fromage news:

Vacherin Mont d'Or: It finally came in! A stinky, cow's milk, fondue-like cheese. Peeling off the spruce top and getting to the warm, runny, slightly sweet deliciousness is a true treat.

Chimay: A cow's milk cheese made by Belgian monks. These monks are apparently famous for their beer brewing abilities and decided many moons ago to combine their love of beer with their love of cheese by making this cheese and washing it in beer. This semi-soft cheese stinks, but is rather mild, with a nutty aftertaste.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Falling Down

I should be posting about my sprint triathlon and the Turkey Trot 10k, but the pictures are elsewhere and what is a race repot without pictures. Yep. Boring.

Instead I bring you Stratfor's assessment of the President's Afghanistan strategy. It's been interesting to hear Republicans praising the president and the left not quite knowing what to do or say.

The analysis itself is interesting and I'm paraphrasing here:

What we have is the Taliban that is definitely going to infiltrate the Afghan army. The Afghan army which is the key to the success of the President's strategy. So instead of focusing all of our efforts on preventing this infiltration, which is near nigh impossible, we'll use the Pakistani ISI to infiltrate the Taliban.

What is that you say? The ISI has been instrumental in helping the Taliban in the past? No matter. We don't have any other options.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Where's the Vacherin?

Aged, Sharp Provolone - Exactly as it sounds. It's harder due to the aging and its sharpness is just a notch below a sharp cheddar. Borderline fantastic and definitely a cheese I'd put out for cheese novices that would initially shy away from the stinkier, softer, more adventurous cheeses.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Only one new cheese this week. I was so busy inhaling the fresh mozarella, the Fourme d'Ambert (wrapped in prosciutto di parma - Oh My!!), Parmigiano Reggiano, and the Drunken Goat that I didn't have a chance to try any other new cheese except for Caciocavallo. It's a hard cow's milk cheese from Italy. It's slightly salty. It comes in an unusual giant pear shape and legend has it that it originally was made from mare's milk.

I had a smoked version that was fantastic. The only problem I found is that it dried out extremely quickly.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Nature, With a Sprinkling of Nurture

James Kwak asks, "Do Smart, Hard-Working People Deserve More Money?".

My views on this topic have changed pretty drastically over the past 20 years. Genetics and luck just play too big a factor.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Opt Out

As much as I disagree with what I think the end result of the health care debate will be, I just have to smile and shake my head in admiration at the introduction of the state Opt Out clause. Andrew Sullivan touches on it here.

Those are some pretty sweet tactics.


You know that my primary goal is to ensure that you are entertained. Why else would I post about cheese, running, politics, and economics? They are all topics that make one smile and in some instances chuckle. So it is with great sadness that I bring to you Mark Thoma, who published a piece about monetary policy, the Fed, and international reserves as they pertain to the financial crisis, over at The Economist's View, which was then republished at The RGE Monitor.

Mark, sadly is lacking in the entertainment department. However, he more than makes up for it in the "Damn, he's probably right." department.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009


Most of the time, I have no idea what I'm doing. Saturday, November 7th will be no different. It's my first triathlon. It will also mark the 18 month mark since the last time I swam laps in a pool. Should be interesting. Here's hoping my four weeks of training pay off.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Cheese Is For Me

Had dinner at Vivat Bacchus last night. They had a cheese room. A whole room in a restaurant dedicated to cheese. Stinky, stinky cheese. Mmmmmmm. So for dessert:

Comte - an unpasteurized cow's milk cheese. Pretty mild and a cheese I like to use to cleanse the palet if I'm out of fruit.

St. Maure - an aged goat cheese wrapped in ash. I'm a big fan of hardened goat cheeses with creamy centers. Very nice.

Fourme d'Ambert - Wow. Simply wow. A French blue. When I tasted it, the fruity aftertaste completely shocked me. Apparently they inject the cheese with a sweet wine. A sweet blue? Amazing.

Friday, October 02, 2009

"Cheap Laughs"

Even though Christopher Hitchens most likely thinks I'm an idiot, I still can't get enough of his writing. The man has some serious chops. His latest piece in The Atlantic on Jon Stewart's rise to the top of the news heap is definitely worth reading.

Not a money quote. Simply my favorite quote of the article:

"Franken very often refers to himself as a “satirist,” which is a piece of hubris that comes to him too glibly and naturally. One wants to say, on hearing or reading such a claim, “Actually, sunshine, we’ll be the judge of that.”"

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Cheese Log

Capra Valtellina - an aged, semi-hard goat cheese. It's mild and a little nutty.

Blacksticks Blue - a soft, but not creamy blue cow cheese from the U.K. It's orange, which is unusual. Pretty smooth initially with a nice blue aftertaste.

Robiola Bosina - a very soft cheese from Italy made with both cow's and sheep's milk. Has a velvety rind with a buttery, sweet inside.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Seething Right

Is seething at the wrong person. Bruce Bartlett, a conservative economist, lays the blame squarely at the feet of the man who created and presided over our current economic disaster, George W. Bush.

But that's not as fun as blaming black on white violence on our president. So the tea party and 9/12ers continue to foam at the fact that not only do we have a Democrat in the White House, but he's also a black man. A combination that the wingnuts just can't accept.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I try not to complain too often, except about cyclists, I can't stand cyclists, but there comes a time when one peanut is one too many, particularly on a red eye.

I was taking my semi-monthly trip to New York on the Sunday night red eye. I was in poor man's first class (exit row) and was asleep before take off. I woke up briefly when the flight attendants came by with the drink service when I heard it for the first time, the crinkling of a peanut bag. Now as everyone knows, those peanut bags are pretty loud, especially on a plane where everyone is asleep and no one else is eating any peanuts.

Now a normal person would eat several peanuts at a time. A normal person might even pour the bag of peanuts into his hand. Not this guy. He took out one peanut at a time. He didn't even open the peanut bag all the way, but opened it just enough for his fingers to barely make their way in to the bag where he would grab a single peanut, eat it, and then squeeze his way in to the peanut bag once again. Over and over until his 25 peanuts were gone. The racket was intolerable. The only thing getting me through the 10 minutes of torture was the fact that it was just a single bag of peanuts.

Or so I thought. THE DUDE ATE ABOUT 10 BAGS OF PEANUTS! Once he ran out, he asked for more AND ATE PEANUTS THE ENTIRE FLIGHT!! (I'm starting to get angry again.) Crinkle, crinkle, crinkle, grab, chomp. Repeat 250 times. The humanity!

Needless to say, if he hadn't been 6'5", burly, wearing an American flag do-rag, and a sleeveless Harley t-shirt, my elbow would have likely ended up making contact with his nose.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Victor was our first Bishop when we lived in Brooklyn. He was on the 85th floor of the North Tower when it was hit on 9/11. I was surprised to see this video of his story on the home page of LDS.org. Incredible story of survival and renewal.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

September 1

September 1st in Arizona is one of my favorite days of the year. It's opening day for the early season dove hunt. Getting together with my friends and family and hunting has been something I've missed greatly while living outside of Arizona. Yesterday was the first time in over a decade that I was able to hunt with those I grew up hunting with.

My friend had scouted out a great place. Close, lots of dove, and did I mention close. Unfortunately, it had rained the night before so the dove were not flying as much as usual (if you can drink from a puddle next to you, why fly to the big watering hole you usually go to?), but there were still plenty of flyers. Unfortunately, my aim needs some refining. It took me about 50 shells to get 7 dove. One person got the limit of 10 and the rest of us had between 5 and 7. One of us even took down 2 with one shot (he really missed both, as the birds were about 15 feet apart, but lucked out).

One of the dove that I shot fell in to some tumbleweeds. As I was poking around looking for it, I heard some rustling around and then some high pitched squeaking. I then moved the giant tumbleweed and came across one of these:

A black and white/yellow king snake who was very grateful to me for providing his breakfast, which I graciously let him keep.

The rest of the hunt was uneventful. We went back home, cleaned our dove, brined them, and then BBQ'd about 8 hours later. Nothing like brined dove, with a split jalapeno on the breastbone wrapped in bacon, and dipped in honey BBQ sauce. Can't wait to go on Monday.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More Cheese

Today's lunch from Ideal Cheese:

- Shropshire Blue - a creamy, yellow cow's milk blue. Very similar to Stilton, but almost seems to have a cheddar flavor, but that could just be the color of the cheese playing tricks with my mind.

- Zamarano - an aged sheep cheese from Spain. Reminds me of Ballerina from the Puget Sound area. A little nutty. Very nice.

- Societe Roquefort - the famous blue from France. A creamy, slightly runny sheep cheese. I like it, but not as much as I like St. Agur.

- Farmer Joe's Mozarella - a local mozarella. Very nice, especially with prosciutto.

- Borata Mozarella - my, oh, my. I can eat this cheese all day. Cheese stuffed with cream and shredded cheese?? Ridiculously good.

Here's hoping I can get the leftovers through security at the airport.

**UPDATE: They made it through.**

Monday, August 10, 2009

"You Do Not Have Health Insurance"

James Kwak tell us something we already know, but choose not to think about (if you're employed).

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Not Hunkering Down

Umair Haque asks us to think constructively about health care.

For those not into hundred page McKinsey reports, this is as good a summary as you're going to see on the current state, hypotheses on how we got here, and questions we need answered.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Best?

The Harvard Business Review asks a tough question and presents findings that question an old assumption. Is the USA #1?

Monday, August 03, 2009

"Sheriff Joe"

The New Yorker profiles Sheriff Joe Arpaio (registration required for the full article).

Please, somebody in the Federal government. End the Section 287(g) program.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Ideal Cheese

I was just introduced to Ideal Cheese, a cheese store in Manhattan. Instead of buying lunch and dinner, I bought 1.5 lbs of cheese, a spicy chorizo, and Serrano (basically Spanish prosciutto). Mmmmmmm. The

Muacia Curado - an aged goat cheese that is already completely eaten

St. Agur - a creamy blue (the best blue I've ever had by the way)

5 Year Old Gouda - the crystallized amino acids make these cheese a must have at any cheese party

were all amazing. Have I mentioned that I love cheese?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Health Care

In my desire to remain topical:

- Megan McArdle, at The Atlantic, explains why she is opposes National Health Care

- Dr. Bala Ambati outlines an alternative plan to the current public option that is on the table

More to come. I don't know what the best option is, but the current situation is unacceptable. If you haven't already, read McKinsey's report on U.S. health care (the full report, not the synthesis). You'll be more knowledgeable than almost anyone you come in contact with on the topic.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Change of Heart

As I continue to try and walk the path that my Father would have me walk and I feel the sanctifying effects of Christ's grace on my life, I draw closer to understanding how I could turn the other cheek. James Olsen's eloquent post on "The Question of Pacifism" struck a chord with me, as did the discussion it engendered.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


HBR tells us to take a breath. To amygdala or to not amygdala. That is the question.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Afghan War

Have I mentioned that Stratfor is one of my favorite sources of geo-political information? If not, let me state it again. Stratfor's analysis is outstanding.

Its latest piece on the calculus in the Afghan War and how the insurgent and counterinsurgent military, intelligence, and political interests complement and collide with one another is very good.



Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Never Let Me Go"

This book took me approximately 4.5 hours start to finish. However, the science and morality tale that this book spun have stayed with me for weeks. I'm not going to be a spoiler, you can do that on your own, but I will say that the slow dawning horror of what is really going on beneath the cheerful prose caused me to shut the pages a few times and remind myself that it was only a novel.

"We Bring Fear"

A great piece in Mother Jones about the drug violence in Mexico.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

More Than Meets The Eye

Zane loves Transformers, but hates it when I sing the song.
"Stop it DAD!", he says. And of course being the childish man-child that I am, I continue, "...robots in disguise." This only makes him more mad, which makes me chuckle a little bit. Then his face turns red and Liz gives me a look and I stop.

As you can tell, Zane and I love Transformers. He, because of the cheap plastic toys, and me, because of the mental torture I'm able to inflict. What?? CPS has already been notified I'm sure.

Anyhow, we went to see the movie on opening weekend. Here's the best review I've seen. CAUTION! Contains profanity.

Monday, July 06, 2009


From Harvard Business School, "Don't Quit the Way Sarah Palin Did". I would have left this story alone, but I was more than a little surprised to see HBS use her as an example of how not to do something. After the past 10 months, maybe I shouldn't have been.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009


The BE Press takes a look at the effect of colder weather on exercise rates. I know. Who would have thought that rates would decrease?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


With all of this health care talk in the air, it's time to re-post my favorite in-depth report on U.S. health care from the McKinsey Global Institute. Registration is required, but both the summary and detailed report are well-worth the read.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Petering Out

Stratfor believes that the Twitter Revolution in Iran is almost done. If I was a betting man, I'd have to agree.

Monday, June 08, 2009


The WSJ lays it all out for us. I just don't see any way for "Just Right" to happen.

And this piece in the NY Times tells us why. No one has the political will to tear down the current system and rebuild.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


A great movie. A great parody.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


John C., at BCC, reminds me to remember my experiences with divinity.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Marvin Perkins (Public Affairs Co-Chair of The Genesis Group) sits down for 12 questions regarding the Priesthood ban.

When I was in NY, I went to the Manhattan Stake Center and heard Brother Darius (who at the time was the President of the Genesis Group), flanked by 4 stake presidents, speak. It was cathartic and one of the things I force myself to remember in times of doubt.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Road

Out of the eight movies, three magazines, and one book that I enjoyed during my recent trip to London, by far the best was the 2006 Pulitzer Winner, "The Road". Being the father of two young boys, I couldn't help but imagine myself as the father who despite all of the insanity surrounding him is determined to protect his son at all costs. I'm not going to give away the story, but it is a definite must (and quick) read. Bleak, terrifying, depressing, moving, and wonderful.

U.S. - Israeli - Palestinian - Arab - Iranian Clusterf*&^

Stratfor posts a fascinating look at what's really going on behind the photo ops and lofty speeches.

Stratfor continues to amaze me.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Covering Up a Multitude of Sins

Usually when I'm upgraded to first class, particularly on a red eye to the east cost, I'm pretty excited. And then when I board the plane and relax in my chair and stretch my legs, I think to myself, this isn't so bad. And when I wake up after a restful four hours of much needed sleep ready to start a Monday full of vim and vigor, I think, I'm really glad I was in first class again. And that's usually how it happens. Except when it doesn't.

Two weeks ago, I was getting ready to stretch out in first class and looked at the empty seat to my right and slowly stretched out my arms and let out an audible cheer. One minute too early. Running on board with a minute to spare was our last passenger. And she took the first class seat next to mine. Usually in first class, we say our polite hellos and sink into first class land. Not this time. I could tell immediately that something was amiss.

First, she looked like a meth addict. Sunken in cheeks and weighing less than a 100 pounds easy. And second, she had the jitters. She couldn't stop twitching. Then she opened her mouth and didn't stop speaking for the next 5 hours. I won't even go into details, but suffice it to say that she had mental health issues. I think at one point, when she was talking about a terrible man she had a relationship and a child with, she made a circle with one hand and poking it by using the index finger on her other hand, told me that she shouldn't have had intercourse with that man.

At one blessed silent moment, she was quiet for all of 10 seconds, so I quickly curled up, turned away, and closed my eyes. To no avail. She, in rapid succession, turned the light on and off, making that loud clicking sound, until I opened my eyes and she said, "Oh, you're awake? I'm so glad. I hate flying and need someone to talk to."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cheney for POTUS

Ross Douthat's inaugural NY Times. Much, much, better than Kristol.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


The best argument I've seen opposing same sex marriage.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What the Internet is For

I was not aware that puppets could make me uncomfortable. Now I know.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Oligarchs

And I'm not talking about Russia. Simon Johnson, in an Atlantic article, argues that the U.S. government is beholden to its financial overlords. I can't say that I disagree with him, especially with the latest Geithner plan robbing taxpayers blind.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Looting and Fraud

Fraud and Looting. James Galbraith doesn't think normal is going to return.

Who exactly likes the Geithner plan? As my good friend Mo told me the other day, the man is acting like a deer in headlights.

As for Galbraith, that's a whole lotta debt.

Moral Hazard

No Rick Santelli this time. Umair Haque, in an article at the Harvard Business Review, is a little irritated at Tim Geithner and his pro-hedge fund, let's fix the financial system, plan.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Sorry to do a 180 on you, but these are the only two articles that I had starred in my reader this week.

BCC asks a series of very good questions regarding conversion to Christ and to the LDS Church. The comments are worth reading.


While we're out hunting for witches, Mark Thoma tries to pin down who the real villain(s) is/are.

Note to self: Experiment titled, "Working from Home - Does it result in less blogging?", completed. Results = positive.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Appealing to Emotion

By Common Consent suggests we shouldn't ignore emotion in debates.

I understand the argument intellectually, but intellectually fail to see how emotion can be used as evidence for an argument.

Trickle Up

Robert Reich discusses whether Obamanomics is conservative or revolutionary.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Turd Mining"

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Stratfor reviews the President's foreign policy actions of the past seven weeks.

I don't even want to think about his project plan.


From our friends at XKCD.com:

Pakistan - Not Good

Juan Cole provides an executive summary regarding the current situation in Pakistan. When an ex-prime minister (Sharif) is calling for revolution in a nuclear armed state at a time when relations with its arch-enemy (India) are just about as bad as they can be, it's time to pay attention.

The New Yorker reports on the back channel Pakistan-India peace deal that almost was and the potential results of a conflict betweeen these two countries.

Monday, March 09, 2009


This was my second time running the Ragnar Del Sol Relay (12 runners - 202 miles). 7 of the 12 runners were members of my family. It would have been 8, but one of my brothers is going to China and couldn't make it (or so he says).

I had no idea how I was going to do. You see, I haven't been formally training. I've been running (a lot) and biking (a little), but I haven't had a training plan other than "Run Forrest, Run". I was also a little nervous because of the Saturday forecast (upper 80s). I don't function well in the heat. My engine is air, not liquid, cooled. If the air temperature isn't below 60, I'm usually screwed.

This year I was runner #9. My first leg was 6 miles, of which four miles was uphill. I hammered out 6:50s pretty easy. My second leg was 5 miles, four of which were downhill. 6:20s. My last leg was 8 miles and was at 5pm Saturday. No sleep. Very tired. Not a lot of runners around to keep me motivated. On the Beeline Highway. 6:30s. Fortunately my air cooled engine was helped by my outstanding teammates running back and forth across the highway dumping water on me.

I feel strong people. I'm going to CRUSH 3 hours this year. I predict 2:56 at St. George. I have a plan. Now I just need to get in to the race.

The Spring Garden

Everything but the brussel sprouts (may they be sweet and crunchy) has been harvested. The spinach took an unusally long time to grow and the rabbits in the neighborhood have gotten to my plants a few times, but once harvested, it was delicious, especially in Liz's spinach/sausage lasagna (oh, my!).

Time to get ready for my spring planting. I purchased the following at Burpee's:

- Spanish peppers (hot)

- Anaheim peppers

- Sweet bell peppers

- Golden zucchini

- Beefsteak tomatoes

- Early season tomatoes

I'm looking forward to six months of tomatoes. There's more than one way to skin a mini(for now)-Depression.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

"I Hunger"

If you played Sinistar as a youngster at Circle K, 7-Eleven, or Alpha Beta and heard the Sinistar yell, "I LIVE. I HUNGER. ROOOAAAAWWWRRR!", before you had collected enough crystals, then you will be familiar with the dull panic that I just experienced when the woman at the juice bar told me she was out of peanut butter.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Title Fight

The case for and against bank nationalization from the RGE Monitor.

I'm leaning towards the for column.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

No Grover

We're not going to pay for the stimulus with higher taxes. We're going to pay for it by increasing the money supply and inflating the debt away. What's an extra $3000 per person when we're all going to have 25% more dollars and a loaf of bread is $10?

Oh wait, haven't I said before that inflation is a tax. Please erase that from your memory.

New World Order

Fabius Maximus summarizes what I have been thinking, and sharing with a few, for the past month or so. Everthing that we know is going to change. Fiat/credit monetary system, consumer driven economy, America and its role as the hegemon in a unipolar world. Everything.


Everything You Need To Know

About government stimulus programs from our friends at the RGE Monitor.

Very well referenced and you gotta love the CBO.

Monday, February 23, 2009

~$500B or $.5T

I know you all know that $500B is half a trillion. I simply enjoy using a T after dollar signs is all.

So the President's 10-year budget is going to cut the deficit by more than half by 2013. And yet it will still be half a trillion $s!!.

Increasing taxes on those who make more than $250K a year and winding down the war in Iraq contribute the most to reducing the deficit. Let's hope the Afghanistan mission does not devolve into a destroy the Taliban mission.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tax Changes

The Tax Policy Center breaks down how much each of our taxes are going down.

To find out which quintile you are in, click here.

Tax cuts and increasing the deficit. Sounds familiar.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I've argued for many years that the oft-heard phrase, "Everything happens for a reason" and its corollary that God's purposes are served by all things is a load of crap. I've said that sometimes suffering is just suffering without reason because we live in a fallen world.

After reading this post over at By Common Consent, I thought for the first time in more than a decade that I might be wrong about the purpose of suffering.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Tim Duy compares the unemployment rates of the past two recessions based upon educational level. I find it difficult to imagine growth being entirely driven by government spending over the next decade (or two). This is not your father's recession.

And hysteresis? That's more than a little terrifying.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

It's Ok

Go ahead and save. The NY Times makes the case for households saving and letting the government spend.

Friday, February 13, 2009


I've removed my links to my favorite sites and replaced it with a widget from my reader. Articles that I like, but don't have time to comment on will appear there.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Different Voodoo

Robert Barro goes after the notion that a $1 spent by the government yields $1.50 worth of output. His conclusion is very Corporate Finance 101.

It's all about the basics.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Does borrowing money to fund a recovery make the recovery less likely?

As you can tell by now, I am of two minds regarding the stimulus. I have serious reservations about the excessive use of debt (if only our debt to GDP ratio had been closer to 40% instead of +65% at the beginning of this crisis - thank you George!). I am also concerned about the U6 number of 15% (true unemployment - forget the ~7% number being thrown around). I don't know what the best answer is short term and I definitely don't know what the best answer is long term.

The problem is that I don't think anyone else knows either.


An interview with Professor Roubini:

"It is clear that the Anglo-Saxon model of supervision and regulation of the financial system has failed.

It relied on self-regulation that, in effect, meant no regulation; on market discipline that does not exist when there is euphoria and irrational exuberance; on internal risk management models that fail because – as a former chief executive of Citi put it – when the music is playing you gotta stand up and dance."


Yves Smith and Steve Keen go after Marx's "Cavaliers of Credit". Warning: This is extremely long, but necessary if you want to truly understand what is going on.

"A sound model of how money and debt are created makes it obvious that we should never have fallen for the insane notion that the financial system should be self-regulating. All that did was give the Cavaliers a licence to run amok".

Credit money, then fiat money?? We don't operate under a fractional reserve system?? Someone needs to reprint all of those macro textbooks.

I suffered physical pain when Keen stated that the only way to inflate the economy (to get it kick started again) was to increase the money supply (i.e., M0) by 25x. No wonder everyone at the Fed and the Treasury is so scared. They know what they need to do, but pulling the trigger is gonna take a much bigger set than they or I have.

Monday, February 09, 2009

"With all due respect ..."

Cato coordinates a response to the President's claim that we are all Keynesians now.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Barro vs. Krugman

"This is probably the worst bill that has been put forward since the 1930s."

Despite Krugman's shrinking, but still extremely large, platform that is the NY Times, Barro is still beating him in the one place that matters, The Economist Rankings.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Mormon Trump Card

I swear that I don't regularly read the BYU News. Scouts honor. I simply followed a link with a clever title. Let's see if you can resist The Mormon Trump Card link.

My summary of the article: Context is important.


"Dear God, let's just kiss the US economy goodbye."

Yves Smith, over at Naked Capitalism, is foaming at the mouth over the latest bank bailout plan being bandied about at the White House.

For all of the brainpower on his economic team, you'd think that President Obama could come up with something better than more of the same kowtowing to the banks. Due diligence would be a nice start.


To paraphrase Niccolo yet again, there are three kinds of people in this world.

  • Geniuses
  • Those who appreciate genius
  • Those who fail to comprehend and appreciate genius

Four years ago today I began this blog with the initial hope of escaping the pit that is Category 3 and quickly decided that I was better off not having such high aspirations and quickly switched gears to something that I did know a bit about (i.e., running).

So dear readers, let's hope that the next four years of little analysis and lots of linking bears more fruit than the past four.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Lapse of Serenity

I typically don't link to friends' blogs/sites. Not because I don't love them, but because the only traffic our sites see is the four or five of us who already read each other and posting a link to a post would be redundant in the worst way.

However, for this post over at Delicious Animals, I must make an exception.

I first met Mr. Delicious Animals when an old friend from the Japan Osaka Mission days (who happens to be Mrs. Delicious Animals) found out that I lived in Brooklyn (her family lived in Westchester) from the Osaka Mission site and reached out to me. Shortly thereafter, we moved to Westchester and ended up in the same ward with the Delicious Animals Family. The short of it is that I know Mr. Delicious Animals pretty well. I won't go into his curriculum vitae, but suffice it to say that the man is probably President of the East Coast Chapter of MENSA (if he would even deign to show up).

So read his educational and brief rant and ignore the bloviating of the talking heads for a day or two.

Monday, February 02, 2009

More Boredom

Or maybe not. Times and Seasons has another winner. An economist's thought experiment on the expected value of a fetus.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Mormon Debt

Very interesting and brief post on Times and Seasons on the political use of debt and the LDS Church.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Welfare State

A great article on the proposed stimulus package over at The Corner on NRO. Although the CBO has revised its original analysis, it's interesting to note that the majority of the spending portion of the bill doesn't occur until FY10 and FY11. Our politicians must be expecting an extremely long recession.

The really interesting thing is that conservatives have finally woken up to the fact that they are conservatives and have started worrying about deficit spending, the debt, and a European style social safety net. After Bush's record of record spending with nary a peep from the right, one might even say it's cynically refreshing.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Afghanistan and al Qaeda

Stratfor looks at the U.S.'s involvement in Afghanistan and its strategic objectives regarding both the Taliban and al Qaeda.

Money quote: "There is no conceivable force the United States can deploy to pacify Afghanistan."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Slow Your Roll

I was more than a little surprised to see this article regarding the coherence of President Obama's stimulus plan in that bastion of conservatism, The Weekly Standard.

I will admit that I am easily swayed by lofty arguments, so reading the above article helped alleviate some of the leftover anxiety from last week's op-ed by Robert J. Barro decrying Keynesian economics in the WSJ. I now know what taking a tranquilizer feels like.

The "Obameter"

The St. Petersburg Times has put together "The Obameter" to track the ~500 promises that President Obama made on the campaign trail. It's only fitting that our Tampa resident grizzley bear's home newspaper is putting this together. I haven't yet gone through each of the 500, but I'm guessing that I'm only going to want the President to keep about 2/3 of his promises.

You can browse the President's promises by subject here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Rarely am I at a loss for words. Today was one of those days. It's amazing that a country that 150 years ago enslaved African-Americans and until 45 years ago denied African-Americans their civil rights has just transferred the highest office in the land and the most important leadership position in the world to an African-American. I'm moved.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

9 Pages

Just for Liz.

The New Yorker somewhat favorably profiles Congressman Barney Frank.

I'm no fan of O'Reilly, but this is classic:

Friday, January 16, 2009

"Partisanship, Politicisation and Incompetence"

The Economist unleashes its assessment of W.'s legacy. No need for me to editorialize further.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Break Time

2800 feet of elevation gain in 3 miles.

So I've started two new activities recently. The first is a Bi-Monthly Hike. The first hike was on January 2nd and myself, one of my brothers, one of my brothers-in-law, my future brother-in-law, and one of my sisters hiked up Siphon Draw to the top of FlatIron (not my picture - I forgot my camera).

Um, 3 miles one way, piece of cake, right? I was actually a little disappointed that we weren't going to break into double digit mileage and thought ahead of time, "Well, you can always run another two or three miles when you get home." Well, six hours and after one mile of rock climbing up and one mile of rock climbing down later, I came to the conclusion that maybe mileage isn't everything. I was sore for almost a week.

At the suggestion of my brother-in-law, we will be hiking to the top of Picacho Peak in March.

Future 2009 hikes include Mt. Humphreys, Reavis Ranch, Four Peaks, and Brins Mesa.

The second new activity is cycling. Not necessarily brand new, but new within the past two years. I bought my tri-bike almost three years ago, rode it for a year, then decided that I didn't like riding it as much as what I could be doing instead (i.e., running). Well one of my brothers decided to drag me back into cycling. So we compromised. On Saturdays, we now run 10+ miles and then bike 20+ miles. It's been a lot of fun. He tells me that cycling first, then running would be a different story, but for now, I don't believe him.

Before I forget dear readers, I thought you'd like to know that Liz likes it when I spend at least half of the day walking around the house in my cycling tights. I try and try to go get cleaned up, but she keeps making me food or asking me to stand on chairs and get things down or move this or move that. Gotta please the pregnant one!

And now back to our regularly scheduled news of war, famine, pestilence, and economic hardship (in that company, economic hardship sounds downright pleasant).

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Not So Popular

Stratfor takes a look at Hamas and the Arab states.


Improbable probables aside, the RGE Monitor posts its 2009 economic outlook (summary: It's not pretty).

Can't wait for the 2010 version (summary: hyperinflation on the horizon).

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Because the Girls Would Sing

Why read/listen to the summaries when you can read the real deal? The December Fed Open Market Committee meeting minutes.

I think that Weird Al needs to remake "Rock Me Amadeus".

"Unemployment, unemployment. Unemployment. Oooh, rock me unemployment!"

Can I Get One of These on eBay?

Stratfor provides a brief analysis on the Israeli ground attack in Gaza (this is the free version).

Gas Wars

Not a summit. Anything but a summit!

The EU is getting a little testy (meaning they missed their morning croissant) over Russia's cutting off the natural gas pipeline.

Monday, January 05, 2009

How Many States

is it going to take?

John Bolton proposes a three-state solution in The Washington Post.

(I always have trouble deciding whether John Bolton's moustache or hair is more awesome. Today, I go with the moustache.)