Kadafi´s Fashion Sense

October 31, 2011

Some people like Michael Jackson become powerful and out of touch with reality and it shows.  Kadafi certainly had a flair for fashion and standing out in a crowd.  Whether he had good taste or not is another matter.  I will let you decide.

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2009/08/qaddafi-slideshow200908#slide=1


http://alternativeto.net

October 30, 2011

I came across this web site which is interesting. If you are looking for a program that can do what another program can do go to http://alternativeto.net which will give you a list of similar programs.  For instance if Photoshop is too expensive you can enter Photoshop and it will give you a list of similar programs, which are either free or cheaper.   Check it out.


More Obama broken promises

October 28, 2011

This post from Mish Shedlock is alarming about the Obama administration.  More and more he is just an empty suit bought and paid for by special interests.

License to Lie: The “Most Transparent Administration Ever” Seeks Law to Respond to Freedom of Information Requests with “Information Does Not Exist”

The Justice Department of the Obama Administration, the self-proclaimed “most transparent administration ever Proposes Letting Government to Respond to Freedom of Information Requests Denying Existence of the Documents.

A longtime internal policy that allowed Justice Department officials to deny the existence of sensitive information could become the law of the land — in effect a license to lie — if a newly proposed rule becomes federal regulation in the coming weeks.

The proposed rule directs federal law enforcement agencies, after personnel have determined that documents are too delicate to be released, to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests “as if the excluded records did not exist.”

Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, says the move appears to be in direct conflict with the administration’s promise to be more open.

“Despite all the talk of transparency, I can’t think of what’s less transparent than saying a document does not exist, when in fact, it does,” Sekulow told Fox News.

Earlier this year, in a case involving the Islamic Council of Southern California brought against the FBI after the plaintiffs learned about the existence of documents denied by the FBI, a federal judge in California expressed great concern about the agency using the internal policy not only in response to the FOIA but to mislead the court.

“The government, cannot, under any circumstance, affirmatively mislead the court. … The court simply cannot perform its constitutional function if the government does not tell the truth,” the judge wrote in a stinging rebuke.

A final version of the proposal could be issued by the end of 2011. If approved, the new rule would officially become a federal regulation with the force of law.Pure Insanity

This proposed law is pure insanity. Wrong accused persons might go to prison or guilty persons purposely protected based on this law.

All that is required is for some government official (possibly protecting himself or his department) to think information is “too sensitive”.

The U.S. should be ashamed to even consider such a law.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com
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Bank of America

October 28, 2011

It seems that Bank of America miscalculated in pushing thru the 5$ a month debit card fee.  They have become so arrogant that they thought that they could just get away with it like everything else.  Consumers have rebelled, Bank of America has a public relations disaster on its hands, and people are dropping their accounts in droves.  I certainly would.  Just another reason why you should be suspicious of going with a big arrogant bank.  My past dealings with Citibank show an institution that is completely confused and disorganized and I am glad that I do not work with them.

I suspect that our big banks have become like the Japanese banks: loaded with toxic assets that they cannot and will not face, and being kept on life support by public largesse.  It is time for a reality check.


Steve Jobs and the Cancer Industry

October 24, 2011

I strongly suspect that Steve Jobs was killed by our corrupt and dysfunctional cancer industry, which is more interested in profits than in actually curing people. If Steve Jobs had pursued alternative treatments for his condition, he might very well be alive today, and who knows what new inventions and contributions he would have been able to provide to the world if he could’ve lived another 20 years?  Our corrupt cancer industry not only costs us money for the treatment, but also robs us of some of our most talented people. Christopher Hitchens is another brilliant intellectual who is receiving the same unfortunate treatment. Something to think about.


Steve Jobs

October 24, 2011

Steve Jobs died recently and I wanted to take a moment to reflect on his legacy. Certainly his story is an amazing one. He founded the first PC company, was kicked out a few years later, and then returned after that (when Apple was weeks away from bankruptcy) and managed to turn Apple into a juggernaut, all while he was battling cancer much of the time.

I believe that’s Steve Jobs has led the most dramatic turnaround of a company that I can remember. Only that, but Apple under Steve’s leadership was definitely a unique phenomenon. Most businesses today are run by committee and a kind of good enough mediocrity, Apple deftly stood out as something that was unique and special in many ways.  Steve Jobs led Apple with his own particular personality, and it reflected both the good and bad of who he was.

On the positive side Apple, under Steve’s leadership, was able to produce an amazing aesthetic, that even today companies have been largely unable to successfully copy. The interesting thing about apples products is that the design looks very simple, and it is so clean and appealing.  His designs are so simple and obvious that I wonder why everyone had not done this years ago. I believe most industrial designers these days spend most of their time following trends and mindlessly copying what other people are doing. The same goes for most company leadership. There are very few people out there who are able to successfully buck the trend of mediocrity, or even try to.

Not only did Apple products look pretty, but they have some amazing innovations. Features like being able to scroll by just swiping one’s finger up and down on the screen now seems so obvious, and yet no one thought of it for years before.  Where as most design in the computer industry is created by techno-geeks, trendy marketers, and executives who spend most of time worrying about their own career, Steve Jobs was wonderful about being able to understand what the average consumer really wants, which is a product that looks good and functions simply intuitively with a minimum of fuss.

One of Steve Jobs insights was to create devices which especially appeal to women by being attractive and simple to use. Apples was able to create something that no one else has really been able to do in the PC business, which is to turn a commodity product with paper thin margins into a boutique product that people are willing to pay a hefty premium to own.  Steve Jobs is also amazing and imagining new products and services that people like. He knew what people wanted even before they knew what they wanted.

The massive growth of Apple, the high profit margins and a very tight control on costs has turned Apple into an anonymously wealthy company. But, there is a dark side to all of Steve Jobs brilliance and success. He was often a difficult person to be with. He was also surprisingly stingy despite the fact that Apple could have afforded to be very generous.

Apple stopped giving to charity years ago, it employed contractors in China who had terrible working conditions, Apple never really cared much about the environment, and apples non modular design encourages people to throw away products early.  Not only that, but Apple consistently charged for high prices for its products, its architecture was absolutely controlling and not non-open, and finally Steve Jobs had a tendency to be noncompliant with industry standards.  Let’s make no mistake. Despite all the presumably enlightened and progressive air about Apple, fundamentally the company to Steve Jobs was about making as much money as possible, and often at any price. I’m not quite sure why Steve Jobs was so driven to increase profits at all costs, when he must’ve known that he was going to die fairly soon and couldn’t have taken it with him.  I think sometimes his ambition took first place over his humanity.

Nonetheless, despite his evident flaws, Steve Jobs was a genius and an amazing individual. He has enriched the computer industry and their lives enormously, and taught all of us many valuable lessons. With his death I also have a feeling that one of the great American entrepreneurs is gone, and I’m not sure that another one is coming along to take his place. I see this as one more symbol of decline in America, and that our best days are behind us.


Don´t Trust Experts

October 24, 2011

This video by Peter Schiff shows just why we should be skeptical of experts.  Much of academia has become unmoored from reality and lives in its own world by its own rules unrelated to the real world.

For example:

-Architects get the highest award for designing incredibly ugly buildings that no one likes.

-Humanities departments (including sociology) in universities have largely been hijacked by radical ideological Marxists and politically correct types, who say things like “Blacks are incapable of being racist” or “there is no physical or biological basis for a differentiation between the races. All racial differences are entirely environmental.” Or “feminism is about equality.”.

-Climate science has become hijacked to ideology and to never ending scare tactics in order to receive continuing funding.

-Medical research has become entirely compromised due to massive conflicts of interest at every level within the research community.

-Medicine in general has become focused more on profit and medical dependency, than it is on actually curing and preventing illness.

-Theoretical physics has spent decades lost in the wilderness theorizing to the nth degree without being able to do empirical experiments to see if their abstract theories actually have any basis in reality.

-Finally we have economics which pass become enamored with dense and confusing mathematical models that seem to have often little relationship to reality, and ignore common sense. There’s also the problem that many economic departments have been taken over by Keynesian nonsense.  The much prized big brained mathematicians that financial institutions hired were completely unable to see the financial and economic crisis coming, despite their mathematical wizardry.

The video below, presented by Schiff, is really quite amazing. First of all it shows how a couple of experts, who have received the highest award possible in their fields, are not even able to explain basic economics. Apparently these two gentlemen are wizards at dense complex mathematical models, and yet they can’t even comment on the state of the economy. To me it’s a fitting testament to the lack of common sense and not being in reality of today’s academics. Not only do the two economists look stupid, but the Nobel committee also looks idiotic for giving these two men such a high award.

Of course for years now I’ve had a rather jaded perspective on the judgment ability of the vaunted Nobel committee. They gave Arafat, a committed terrorists until the day he died, a Noble peace prize.  Al Gore got one for his climate change demagoguery. And, finally Barack Obama got a Noble peace prize for essentially doing nothing… all while real heroes were too often overlooked.  Maybe the Noble peace prize should be renamed “the politically correct popularity prize”.

In sum, the Emperor has no clothes.

http://youtu.be/mFdnA5UNmVw

This video by Peter Schiff is also quite amazing. In it and Greenspan is abdicating that we should destroy houses, in order to revive the market, and presumably to help the economy.  This idea so stupid that hardly know where to begin. First of all destroying perfectly good assets, such as housing, is not going to help the economy improve. If done radically enough it might cause housing prices to increase, which was simply make housing that much more unaffordable. The end result is that property owners might make more money from their investment, but everyone else would see a reduction in the quality of life, simply because we would all have to live in smaller houses, or share houses, or simply have to cut back on other expenses in order to afford the rent and mortgage. In other words, the property owners would get richer, and everyone else would suffer. It sounds like a great recipe to make the country better.

The fact that Alan Greenspan was once lauded as an economic genius, and still has some residual respect to certain quarters is quite amazing.

The conclusion that we can come to for all of this is that we should not trust experts implicitly. Experts can often be right… and they can also often be wrong. Instead of accepting them as quasi divine individuals, we need to listen very carefully to what they say, and if it doesn’t pass the Occam’s razor test, we should start becoming very skeptical very quickly. In other words, we need to hold up the theories and conclusions of the experts to the light of common sense. If we start seeing red flags and BS wafting up from their proclamations, we need to call it for what it is.  Too many people implicitly accept experts as infallible, and this needs to stop.

This is one of the major problems with the proponents of the global warming theory. Their main argument is that the experts have declared it thus and so they cannot be wrong. They have this naïve belief that science is infallible. While it is true that the scientific method, when followed correctly and honestly is generally the best method that we have to discover the truth, the reality is that science can be corrupted just like religion, academia, charities and politics.  Scientific proclamations need to be examined with the same skepticism and scrutiny as everything else.