Bush wants history to see him as a liberator of millions

"George W. Bush hopes history will see him as a president who liberated millions of Iraqis and Afghans, who worked towards peace and who never sold his soul for political ends."
No Dubya, history won't see you as someone who sold his soul for political ends.  

You are not clever enough to be a proper politician. 

They will see you as someone who sold his soul so his buddies could redistribute billions and billions of taxpayer dollars into their own pockets.  You will probably have oil tankers and tasers named in your honor.


You would think that those in charge are in charge precisely because they know what they are doing.  Well....no.  Not really. Any wonder that society falls apart when we insist on electing incompetents for various offices?

Lack of updates

Sorry about the lack of updates.  I've been working very late these past weeks.

A look back.

I'd be interested in seeing a followup on this clip.  Has the press picked it up yet?

Having played around a bit with what you might call complex financial products, I know a little bit about not fully understanding exactly what factors might have huge impact on your investment.  I was lucky.  I made more than I lost and I got out when things started happening around the world that didn't look like "business as usual" to me.  I got out, not because I knew what I was doing, but because I realized that I didn't.

A lot of people got greedy, they listened to bad financial advisors and bet their savings and lost. (Rule #1: never invest more than you can afford to lose).

If the subprime crisis demonstrated one thing it is that the financial world is complex and that very few people actually understand it very well.  In fact, as the first stages of the subprime crisis unfolded, most of the people in the financial industry were embarrassingly noncommital when it came to predicting the consequences.  That, or they downplayed it in the hopes that the inevitable could be postponed.  Basically most had no idea.  They had no idea of whom was exposed to what risk where.

And I don't blame them.  Most third-year economy students wouldn't understand the risk structure of investments banks were offering left and right.  Let alone the murky trade in crap loans between international banks.

It is important to keep this in mind.   

These people are good at working the system.  But the vast majority of them do not understand it to a degree where they can see trouble coming, and once the system starts breaking down, the rules change and all of a sudden they have no ground to stand on.  One does not need to understand what they do not to infer this.

Be careful who you listen to and try to remember who is full of shit the next time around.

Orson Scott Card; author and intolerant jerk.

I stumbled across this link about Orson Scott Card's views on gay marriage today.  It saddens me deeply that someone who has written at least one book I really admired has such a myopic view of the world.   It is one thing that he has an opinion.  He is free to think whatever he likes and shout it at the top of his lungs. 

What I don't like is that he thinks forcing his opinion on others is acceptable -- by force of law. He thinks the government should deny some people the sort of rights that are deemed essential to those who conform to his idea of humanity.

What if the majority's view of humanity differed?

What if the majority ruled that writers with a rotund head and a receding hairline should not be allowed to teach english?  Or should be deemed second class citizens with diminished rights?  Yes, it would seem unfair.  It would seem unfair to have rights denied you for something you are.  An aspect of who you are you yourself did not choose.  How if society deemed you an outcast. Unwanted.  A person so low they would strip you of rights you take for granted.  Rights you should take for granted and which no government should be allowed to take away from you.

It is not OK, Orson.  Not even remotely so.  Not everyone shares your medieval, intolerant view of those who are not exactly like you.  Not everyone believes that the tyranny of the masses should be allowed to terrorize the few.  

Does this idea ring a bell?

Perhaps you have forgotten that many of the people originally populating North America fled europe -- to get away from people just like you.  To get away from the tyranny of the masses and political leaders that did not approve of their faith. Was your education so shallow, so narrow,  so inadequate, so utterly worthless that you do not understand even the most fundamental ideas of equality on which the nation you live in was founded?  

No amount of admiration for your books can rid you of the repugnant stench of intolerance your vile words leave behind.  May you never have the misfortune of falling victim to the whims of your kind.

This blog.

When I started this blog the intent was to blog about things that annoy me.  To say things that I felt needed saying while not taking things too seriously.  The blog name was supposed to reflect this. One does not choose a self-deprecative name for one's blog and then expect everyone to take what you say completely seriously.

That I started blogging exclusively on the election was not something I planned for.  It just happened to find myself following the election closely and naturally I ended up blogging whenever I was annoyed with what I saw.

I got a lot of feedback on it during the election.  Mostly via email.  Most of the feedback was encouraging -- some of it wasn't.   Don't get me wrong:  the fact that people disagree with what I express does not bother me.  Debate is important. I would much rather have a heated debate with someone fiercely disagreeing with my views rather than having feebleminded, dogmatic morons agree with me.  

What bothered me was the dogmatic, un-thinking respondents.  Those incapable of independent observation, analysis, and conclusion.

Now that the election is over there is a number of things I might want to blog about.  For one, I will be keeping a close eye on what the upcoming Obama administration is going to do.  Early indicators suggest that Obama will innovate in the way he is going to communicate with the people and that his government may be a more open and transparent one than we have seen before.  And when I say "before" I am not just referring to the last 8 years, but in all of american history.  I hope I am right.

There are other things I would like to explore a bit more in this blog.  I have an interest in religion and how religion seems to have made a comeback as a threat to civilization.  Be it radicalized islam or fundamentalist christianity.  The flavor doesn't really matter all that much when the intensity of emotions in extremists so effectively occlude avenues for rational thought.  I think we need to start re-thinking how society needs to deal with the current crop of religions (including those that are religions only in name).  It is by no means a new idea as the explosive nature of religion has been a problem we've needed to deal with throughout history. 

Religion has become a global risk factor and we need to think about its place.

I could blog on energy efficiency, the environment and related themes that occupy my mind, but I feel I am slightly out of touch with these themes since I haven't kept up to date with relevant data for about a year.  I am sort of the odd one out on this issue since my main concern is that "the environment" is being used as a punch-line for all sorts of ignorant, grandstanding idiots. We are wasting a lot of money, time and resources on taking the wrong people seriously.  Most of them politicians that want to score cheap points in taking popular, yet uninformed positions. This does little to reduce our impact on the environment.

We'll see.   In all likelihood this blog is probably not going to stick to just one theme.  And expect there to be sarcasm, irony and the occasional dose of humor.


I can't say I envy Obama the job of getting the US back on its feet. 

In any case, congratulations Obama!