Monday, October 29, 2012

This map isn't very encouraging

Source here.

UPDATE:  Cav's family is doing fine.  We lost power shortly before 9pm, mostly likely due to this.  While well supplied, we were able to snag a hotel room not far away, where we are grateful for power and plumbing.  Back to work tomorrow.

Bubble watch: K-12 public schools

Between fiscal year (FY) 1950 and FY 2009, the number of K-12 public school students in the United States increased by 96 percent while the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) school employees grew 386 percent. Public schools grew staffing at a rate four times faster than the increase in students over that time period. Of those personnel, teachers’ numbers increased 252 percent while administrators and other staff experienced growth of 702 percent, more than seven times the increase in students. 
Read the whole thing.  Via Glenn Reynolds.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Obama & Romney

I've taken some heat from friends and co-workers for not watching any of the presidential debates (although I watched the VP debate with great interest).

I did watch President Obama's and Governor Romney's remarks at last night's Alfred E. Smith dinner, and I got a lot more utility out of it than any of their debates.  I'd have to give the Most Gracious nod to Obama, although both of them found grace for each other and some self-deprecation for themselves.

Ohio tightens a bit, on 3 days of higher-than-usual trading volume.

Here's a nice summary map of Intrade state-by-state predictions, currently giving the win with 281 electoral votes to Obama, vs. 257 for Romney.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tony Woodlief has a point

Once people get worked into a frenzy about the goodness of their leader—be he a former oil man who promises to whip the daylights out of the terrorists, or a former community organizer who promises free medical care—they get impatient with people who question their man, and impatient with restraints on his power.

Thus do so-called conservatives back radical expansions of federal power in wars against drugs and terrorists, and thus do so-called liberals restrict the meaning of the word “choice” to the extraction of unwanted fetuses. We’ll do so much good for you, each tribe tells us, if we can just have some running room.

To which the Founders would reply: we shot and bombed and bayoneted a whole pile of guys for talking that way.

Read the whole thing here.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The world's first libertarian?

That would be Samuel, the Old Testament prophet, circa 1050 BC: 
This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.
BCWUW4: Be careful what you wish for.  And God told you so.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

NAACP leadership finally supporting Dubya

... Washington Bureau director of the NAACP Hilary Shelton sees it differently. Mr. Shelton says the lower standards for minorities reflect what President George W. Bush once dubbed the "soft bigotry of low expectations": "It's, what do they say? 'Soft bigotry of low expectations," said Shelton. "They're really letting the educators off the hook playing it this way. We have to challenge our educators to meet the standards of every child."

Source here, via Ed Driscoll.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tonight, Joe Biden has helped me

teach my 11-year-old how crooked our elected leaders can be.

Thanks!  That's actually worth something.

And apologies to my kids' generation for the debt we are passing to you.

Photo link here.

UPDATE:  The deficits are not primarily due to military spending in the Middle East (the surge commenced in the first few months of 2008), and we are following Japan, Greece, Ireland and Italy into the abyss:

 Graph sources here and here.

UPDATE:  A smile is an instinctive gesture of submission. Often the submission is mutual, as when two friends exchange smiles or when Maestripieri's strangers break into small talk on the elevator. But when a man uncontrollably smiles at a potential or actual adversary, it is a show of weakness.

I try to avoid, or at least minimize, political party alignment (since I'm not a member of one). But this video is the prima facie type of work that Jon Stewart does, sort of a "presented without comment" type of deal.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Intrade futures after the first 2012 presidential debate

I will not be watching any of the debates, save the VP debate next week.  However, I read up a bit, and this one was my favorite, although it did bring to mind:  who fact checks the fact checkers?

Overall, President Obama's odds moved back closer to parity.  Here is the 60-day chart of how he's traded at Intrade:

and here is the less liquid, but well correlated Ohio prediction futures contract:
I guess that polling data surfacing over the next week will impact prices further, viewership for the second debate will be higher, and Obama, having digested some much needed humble pie, will perform better.

Romney is still trailing far behind.  Should he overtake in not only Ohio, but also Florida and Virginia and one other state where Obama is polling better, he can win the thing.  My gut tells me that Virginia will be the toughest--lots of wealthy government elites live in the northern part of the state, and they will be voting for the incumbent for sure.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Pick me up in the middle of a tough week

A lot of bumps and bruises from work, and I'm about to go another round with the IRS.

I remembered this story, which I posted last year.  There was an update, which really helped me get perspective:

Also, here is a better video of his performance than the original post.