Monday, September 29, 2014

Apple will become the phone of choice for the pedophile


From the Washington Post:
FBI Director James B. Comey sharply criticized Apple and Google on Thursday for developing forms of smartphone encryption so secure that law enforcement officials cannot easily gain access to information stored on the devices — even when they have valid search warrants.
Notice where the information is: "on the device."

Comey continued:

he could not understand why companies would “market something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law.” 
Now, if I store something on my phone, and don't want anyone to see it, I am putting myself "beyond the law." Calling George Orwell.

My favorite quote in the story comes from John J. Escalante, chief of detectives for Chicago’s police department.

“Apple will become the phone of choice for the pedophile,”..."The average pedophile at this point is probably thinking, I’ve got to get an Apple phone.” 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

"Obama's new muse: George W. Bush"

I was amused by the headline of this story: "Obama's new muse: George W. Bush"

President Barack Obama drafted most of Wednesday’s United Nations speech by himself, but it often sounded like he had a ghost writer: the predecessor he mocked.
What amused me most is it is the same thing I wrote two years ago:

Obama = Bush 


The Second Coming of Bill Clinton 


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I read the first three words and stopped.


I read the first three words "America's royal baby" of this story, and stopped reading. Anything that supports the notion of royalty in the US I find repugnant. It's while I'll never utter "First Lady," either.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Shouldn't Be Too Difficult to Find a Nut or Two in a Crowd of 100,000


I can't imagine it's too difficult to find a nut or two in a crowd of 100,000 and Reason.TV did at the recent March for Climate Change in NYC last Sunday. The results is amusing, but not very illuminating.

The left does the same thing at Tea Party rallies, and it's just as amusing and also not very illuminating.

One can be concerned about climate change without being a communist (whatever that means) and one can be less concerned about it and not be anti-science (whatever that means).


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Not A Smidgeon of Corruption


Many news outlets have reported this:

The staff of the House Oversight Committee’s Republican majority received a curious phone call two Fridays ago from Brian Fallon, director of the Justice Department’s office of public affairs.
Mr. Fallon confided that he had certain documents pertaining to the Internal Revenue Service scandal, which had been requested by Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa.
He asked that staff leak the documents to “selected reporters” – affording Attorney General Eric Holder’s spokesman an opportunity to publicly downplay their significance – before he handed them over to Rep. Issa.
It was an artful plan by Mr. Fallon, which he almost certainly would have pulled off but for one slip up: He called Rep. Issa’s staff when he meant instead to call staff for Rep. Elijah Cummings, the committee’s ranking Democratic member.
Mr. Fallon’s phone call confirmed suspicions that Rep. Cummings has been running interference for the Justice Department.
Not a smidgeon of corruption, indeed.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Oil Independence-Who Cares.


I don't think it's very important to achieve oil independence, just like I don't think it's important to achieve iPhone independence, or banana independence, or auto independence. For whatever reason(s) energy seems to make most rational people lose their perspective. If we are oil independent, and the Middle East blows up, oil prices will go up, so I don't see how our "dangerous dependence on foreign oil" really matters. The market is interconnected, as you can see by the chart of trade movements below.

Turns out, we have a rather diverse supply of oil. The following two graphs are from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2014. The first, in tabular form shows where we get our oil imports. The second shows the same in pictorial form.

Keep in mind we produce a little over half of what we consume, the rest is from imports. So when you see the Middle East providing 20% of our imports, that's about 10% of our consumption. Canada is the biggest source of imported oil, and has been for some time. Mexico and Venezuela combined, are the next major source of supply, then the Middle East, combined.

By the way, in 2013 the world's largest producer of oil was Saudi Arabia at 11.5 million barrels per day (542.3 million tonnes), followed by Russia 10.8 million (531 million tonnes) and the US 10.0 million (446 million tonnes).

Production from the US this year will be about 11.4 million barrels per day and 12.6 million in 2015, at least according to the Energy Information Administration, which is part of  the Department of Energy. Russian production has been growing modestly, and Saudi Arabian production is flattish over the past couple of year. If those trends hold the US will be the world's largest producer of oil, by a large margin. Compare this to 2003, when the US produced 7.4 million barrels per day. It's an amazing difference and all due to hydraulic fracturing. Also happens to be good for those concerned about carbon. More oil and more gas, means less coal means less carbon.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why Obama is at 40%


Today's Upshot crystallizes the  disconnect between the macroeconomic good news that we keep hearing about and the reality for most Americans. The fantastic headline says it all.