Archive for February, 2009

Close the Harvard Business School (February 23, 2009)

Posted in Crime/Punishment, Education, Law, PATRIOT Act, Schooling, USA PATRIOT Act on February 23, 2009 by

The government is closing the prison at Guantanimo.  Problematic yet necessary.  Any change should be purposeful and careful.

The government should close the Harvard Business School, America’s madrossa for economic terrorists.  The USA PATRIOT Act provides one legal vehicle.  Convert the structure into a youth hostel for the young and old.  Many if not most of today’s political and social problems originate or are exacerbated in the schools.  If we do not close a school, it may be time to revisit the curriculum.

Bumper sticker of the week:

Crime should be punished

Global Environmental Something (February 16, 2009)

Posted in Global Climate Change on February 16, 2009 by

Something is going on.  Global economics is far easier to understand than global climate change.  Everyone has an opinion; one’s opinion is revealing.

Field research is critical.  In his annual Fall foray, Nimrod notes that the flowers, bushes and trees have moved up the hill about fifty feet and provided more and different cover for the critters over the last fifty years.  And stream research.  Rod carefully chronicled the dates the ice came and went on the lake over the last forty years.  The ice fishing season is at least three weeks shorter than two score years ago.  Diana is still making sense of it all.

Warmer.  Colder.  Colder because it is getting warmer.  Phenomena described as “Little baby boys” and “Little baby girls.”  Some are even convinced that it is too late for the globe to rebound, sort of like the economy.  Some are not convinced and do not want to make any changes.  Something is going on.

Bumper sticker of the week:

What it is isn’t exactly clear

1000 AUSAs (February 9, 2009)

Posted in Bailout/Bribe, Crime/Punishment, Economics, Economics Nobel, Law on February 9, 2009 by

Some commentators are suggesting that the current economic crisis is a result of amnesia.  Too many years have passed since the failure of Long-Term Capital Management, a business that pursued a short term business scam, they say.  LTCM followed an economic formula developed among others by Robert Merton and Myron Scholes who both won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1997.  They won for “a new method to determine the value of derivatives.”  Derivatives are a steal for those who do the stealing and costly for the taxpayers who ultimately bail them out.  Their “value” to society:  pricey.  Does the Nobel Committee ever revoke its prize?

The problem, so the thinking goes, is that everyone simply forgot.  No one needs to remember.  Business types respond to current incentives and disincentives not to moral intoning or calls to virtue.  The message being sent today is simple and straight forward:  Crime pays.  Not only the criminal act itself but the cost of remedying the criminal act.

The Justice Department should hire 1000 new Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) to prosecute the massive fraud that has been perpetrated on Wall Street for the last half dozen years.  This is not some undigested populist anger.  Without the restoration of the rule of law, the economic culture of the country will continue to rot.

Bumper sticker of the week:

Crime pays in the US of A.

Seeding Pollution From The Heavens (February 2, 2009)

Posted in Aviation, Gas/Fossil Fuel, Global Climate Change on February 2, 2009 by

Geopolitical changes opened the northern polar routes to regular commercial air travel.

Commercial aviation cross-hatches the northern skies and deposits exhaust particles from on high.

Exhaust particles create a black shroud on the white snow and clear ice.

The black exhaust particles absorb the sun’s heat and melt the snow and ice rapidly.

The next day, planes fly over and do it again.

Bumper sticker of the week:

Better to be on the ground and wish you were in the air

Than to be in the air and wish you were on the ground