Bay Area Buzz

My blog on the issues facing the Bay Area, California, and the U.S; and of course, some personal observations.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

The Power of Capitalism

Today, we find that Personal Income rose a large 3.7% in Decemeber. Why? 3.1% of the income was attributible to Microsoft's $3 Special Dividend. Amazing! One dividend nearly as powerful in personal income as all the tax rebates received in Summer 2001. Remember the $300-$600 checks? So, I guess what we really need to do, is find a way to get more people involved in ownership, Hmm I wonder what that could be?

Monday, September 27, 2004

The War in Iraq

Prof. Kerr asks three questions of those who supported the War in Iraq. To answer his questions,

1. Assuming that you were in favor of the invasion of Iraq at the time of the invasion, do you believe today that the invasion of Iraq was a good idea? Why/why not? Yes, I still believe that the invasion of Iraq was a good idea. In making any decision we are faced with risks of action and inaction. I believe the risks in not removing Saddam were and continue to be greater than the risk in leaving Saddam in power. It is easy to count the concrete losses, to the exclusion of the great inchoate benefits. Taking the task through to it's proper completion though, I believe will lead those inchoate benefits to fruition. Importantly, this is a judgment call. This whole process has been. If you don't believe that good will come out of the democratization of Iraq, or that all hope is lost, or that the probability of net positive benefit has diminished beyond the costs, than the result of your equation will come out differently, that's fair enough, perhaps some time, down the road, I will devote a post to why I think things will work out in Iraq and work out well.

2. What reaction do you have to the not-very-upbeat news coming of Iraq these days, such as the stories I link to above? My reactions to the stories are multi-faceted. I certainly don't think the situation in Iraq is perfect. Far from it, I believe there are difficulties in Iraq especially in the 2 provinces consisting of most of the Sunni Triangle. I doubt things are as bleak as they are made to appear however, that the truth is somewhere in the middle. I also reckon, that much of this past month's hostilities and negativity will get worse until November. I have little doubt that a push will be made, to make things appear as bleak as possible leading up to the November election. Outside of that, I reckon Iraq is mostly peaceful, but going through a lot of dynamic issues that could be expected from any people group having gone through the past 30 years of their history. I did not expect this War to be quick, clean, and easy. Not to mention this ought to be expected to be the hardest period of the War on Terror; the first true test of the nation's resolve. I have little doubt that those opposing us, very much want to test our resolve. (NB: This would not be a necessary calculation were not one party generally campaigning on the "wrongness" of the war, if the parties were agreed on the necessity to complete the task right, as happened in the past in most wars, this would not be a consideration).

3. What specific criteria do you recommend that we should use over the coming months and years to measure whether the Iraq invasion has been a success? We have come accustommed to measuring success in weeks and months for many reasons. Perhaps partially because of the tendancy to measure businesses quarterly, or just the natural impatience of men. However, I think taking stock of Iraq will take more than 5 years to determine success. Generally, 5 years down the road, I think we should look to see whether Iraq has successfully rejoined the community of nations. But perhaps the most important metrics are the most hard to measure, perhaps the easiest measure of success will be the strangest test of all, In 5 years, will there be tourism in Iraq? It's a natural draw, the Tigris and Euphrates, the birthplace of civilization, and the thought of looking at where the Garden of Eden might have been/is. Will people feel safe enough, and the government free enough to allow travel to that country to visit.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Market Manipulation at Tradesports?

At Tradesports today, all in the course of an hour the market for GWB's reelection went from 63 to 50 to 63...crazy, makes one concerned about the risk of unfair manipulation. All in all, Strange.

Nice Weekend?

Here's hoping you had a pleasant weekend. I certainly did. I made a couple posts over at Calblog. Other than that, I think I will try to make it a general point to be quiet around here over the weekend. Being a homeowner, I find I always have plenty to do around the house. One of the nicest things about being a homeowner is that is forces one to have faith in oneself. I took the risk this week installing blinds and a garage cabinet and shelf. I'm quite happy to say it paid off, and I look forward to the next set of installations to be made.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Rather gets Clintonian

From Drudge.

"I know that this story is true. I believe that the witnesses and the documents are authentic"...."that this story is true, and that more important questions than how we got the story, which is where those who don't like the story like to put the emphasis, the more important question is what are the answers to the questions raised in the story, which I just gave you earlier.

To me, this almost seals the deal on the documents. Rather pretty much admits...He know's the story is true, yet only believes the documents are authentic. Why would he parse his language so? The story, story, story...Yes, What a story.

About the Documents

The possibility that the new Bush Guard documents are forgeries is now filtering through the MSM. However, as rarely as I read him..., Josh Marshall has pointed out the possibility of the exisitance of superscript fonts at the time of the documents. I stand by my estimation that it is highly likely that the docs were forged, at this point in time, and in fact I believe it is more likely that the documents are forgeries than I posted yesterday. However, I am not certain, I will try to be patient though before expressing certainty. There's nothing here, that can't wait a day or two before saying for sure that 60 Minutes/Dan Rathers has either (a) perpetrated a hoax through poor journalistic standards and/or (b) was hoaxed despite executing journalistic standards or (c) the docs were genuine and much of the right-side of the blogosphere has egg on its face. And since I like Ice Cream so much more than crow, a little patience is in the order of my day.

Although, as I write, the likelihood of forgery only grows.

Demonizing Bush

Apparently, Bushitler wasn't persuasive ,Surprise, Surprise, so now it's okay to allude to Bush as a false prophet. See Matthew 7:15. As I was walking to class yesterday I found myself wondering if perhaps the Bushitler analysis wouldn't eventually grow into Bush=Antichrist. Additionally, while the Bush campaign is repeatedly accused of questioning Kerry's patriotism, by merely pointing out that Kerry is wrong on the issues, it is apparently acceptable to question Bush's Christianity.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Mr. Bush goes to Alabama

Remember the scene in Mr. Smith goes to Washington, where analysts are paraded out to state that "I stake twenty years that this signature is definately not a forgery." Well, it appears that the latest National Guard documents that are being played up are highly likely to be forgeries. If they are, it will be poetic justic to see this blow up in the face of Dan Rathers and the CBS News. It couldn't happen to a more deserving "journalist."

Nothing Really Matters... to me....to me...

Somethings really do matter to me, but really does anyone find it strange that the left is harping on 30 years ago. I wasn't alive back then, and quite frankly I couldn't care less. I'd wager most people feel the same way. Of course, the problem is that in this "close" election since 1000 votes might swing the Presidency anything that could possibly swing anyone's vote is being slung. Ick, oh well, I don't imagine it will go away anytime soon. Maybe that's not a bad thing, the longer the Dems focus on things that are irrelevant to most people, the less time they'll have to focus on relevant issues.

NB: I really could careless about the whole swift boat veteran thing too, I thought John Kerry was a weasel before, and still do.

Why are the new polls getting harder to find?

Have you noticed that when Bush has a lead in the polls the poll is not touted from the front page, but is usually non-chalantly placed in the politics section. Whereas when Kerry is in the lead the poll garners a front-page billing. I'm beginning to notice this more and more. In any event, for those who care, Bush's lead is again seen to be around 7 points, among registered voters, in this CBS news poll. I personally believe that the President is currently about 7 points ahead, not 11 like Newsweek and Time, but not the 2-3 of Rasmussen or Zogby. Seems to be the point that most polls are pointing to.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

There and Back Again

I mentioned a while back my success in getting a small indoor antenna to get HDTV Reception all the way in Tracy, CA from Sacramento. Of course, I'm getting greedy now and want to try to get more channels. As a result, I find myself looking for outdoor antennas. I find this so ironic, that possibly in 3 years, people will be mounting antennas to get free (and flawless) HDTV reception. For more information, I highly recommend Antenna Web as an excellent place to find information about broadcast stations and availability in your area. As for any HOA restrictions, they may be preempted by the telecommunications act of 1996

Elastic BART

Today was a spare the air day. While generally this would be a negative event, for the 1st five spare the air days of the year BART is offering free morning commutes. As a result, BART this morning was packed. An BART officer monitoring the platform at Dublin/Pleasanton noted that it was much busier than it's been in a long while.

As such, it appears BART is, at least at the further out ends of the BART system, an elastic good. I have railed in the past on how expensive BART is becoming, and from what it looked like this morning, a number of people have been choosing alternative options. Maybe, the directors will get the hint and drop prices further out on the system, but I suppose that would be asking for too much.

The Buzz is Back

Now that school is back in session, I have time to post on my own again, and I will certainly try to be here more often. I apologize for the existance on blogspot, but (a) I'm cheap, and (b) I want to make sure that I can create a reliable readership base before I move up to say my own domain. In any event, hopefully you enjoy what you find, and with any luck, blogspot won't be too difficult to get to.