"The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won't be posted here."—New York Times, on the Climategate emails, Nov. 20, 2009.
On Wikileaks latest revelations.
"The articles published today and in coming days are based on thousands of United States embassy cables, the daily reports from the field intended for the eyes of senior policy makers in Washington. . . . The Times believes that the documents serve an important public interest, illuminating the goals, successes, compromises and frustrations of American diplomacy in a way that other accounts cannot match."—New York Times, on the WikiLeaks documents, Nov. 29, 2010.
Politics? ................... Maybe?
Nahhhhh, not The Old Grey Lady.
From S&P/Case-Shiller via Clusterstock, the following bad news.
Click on the chart for the 15 softest housing markets.
You're likely to be suprised.
The chart (below) depicts the annual returns of the U.S. National, the 10-City Composite and the 20-City Composite Home Price Indices. The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a 1.5% decline in the third quarter of 2010 over the third quarter of 2009. In September, the 10-City and 20-City Composites recorded annual returns of +1.6% and +0.6%, respectively.
Clarke and Dawe have been a staple of Australian television seemingly forever, and are rightfully considered by many Australians to be a national treasure.
They most always make me laugh, which makes me wish they were ours.
Here's their take on a 1991 oil spill.
The Front Fell Off.
Clarke and Dawe.
The New York Times is starting to get it.
“It seems Abdulmutallab, a name T.S.A. agents must now memorize, is to blame. Abdulmutallab is the failed Nigerian ‘underwear bomber’ of last Christmas. He joins the failed shoe bomber and failed shampoo-and-bottled-water bombers in a remarkable success: adding another blanket layer of T.S.A checks, including dubious gropes, to the daily humiliations of travelers.
“Whether or not these explosive devices were ever actually operable remains a matter of dispute, just as it remains a mystery that the enemy — if as powerful as portrayed — has not contrived a single terrorist act on U.S. soil since 9/11. What is not in doubt is an old rule: Give a bureaucrat a big stick and a big budget, allow said bureaucrat to trade in the limitless currency of human anxiety, and the masses will soon be intimidated by the Department of Fear.
“Lavrenti Beria, Stalin’s notorious secret police chief, once said, ‘Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.’ The T.S.A. seems to operate on the basis of an adapted maxim: ‘Show me the security check and I’ll find you the excuse.’
“Anyone who has watched T.S.A. agents spending 10 minutes patting down 80-year-old grandmothers, or seen dismayed youths being ordered back into the scanner booth by agents connected wirelessly to other invisible agents gazing at images of these people in a state of near-nakedness, has to ask: What form of group madness is it that forsakes judgment and discernment for process run amok?
“I don’t doubt the patriotism of the Americans involved in keeping the country safe, nor do I discount the threat, but I am sure of this: The unfettered growth of the Department of Homeland Security and the T.S.A. represent a greater long-term threat to the prosperity, character and well-being of the United States than a few madmen in the valleys of Waziristan or the voids of Yemen.
“America is a nation of openness, boldness and risk-taking. Close this nation, cow it, constrict it and you unravel its magic.
“There are now about 400 full-body scanners, set to grow to 1,000 next year. One of the people pushing them most energetically is Michael Chertoff, the former Secretary of Homeland Security. He’s the co-founder and managing principal of the Chertoff Group, which provides security advice. One of its clients is California-based Rapiscan Systems, part of the OSI Systems corporation, that makes many of the ‘whole body’ scanners being installed…
“Intelligence has improved beyond measure since 9/11. It can be used far more effectively at airports. Instead of humiliating everyone, focus on the very small proportion of travelers who might present a threat.
“So I give thanks this week for the Fourth Amendment: ‘The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.’ I give thanks for Benjamin Franklin’s words after the 1787 Constitutional Convention describing the results of its deliberations: ‘A Republic, if you can keep it.’ To keep it, push back against enhanced patting, Chertoff’s naked-screening and the sinister drumbeat of fear.” – Roger Cohen, “The Real Threat to
Dan Edstrom does "securitization audits".
Basically he analyzes the history of transactions concerning a given mortgage and note from the moment it's signed through it's sale, securitization and hopeful payoff ................. or foreclosure.
Here's the chart for Dan's own mortgage.
I clicked on the small version and then again to enlarge it to it's full size, thinking I'd follow it all the way through it's history.
I'm not gonna lie to you, I quit after about three seconds.
I'm thinking now that this debacle has no chance of resolution outside of default, foreclose and bankruptcy, and by that I mean both individually and at the level of the subsequent securitized instruments.
From Zero Hedge, which is of the sites I skulk, easily both the toughest read and the toughest to join.
On the positive side, it's free.
It is also consistently among the most rewarding of the sites I frequent if one is prepared to grind some.
Click the chart below for the Zero Hedge site and the story.
The sordid journey of just one mortgage.
Tim S. wandered into our Facebook site from straight out of left field the other day and proudly announced, for no apparent reason, that Floyd the Barber was his all time favorite Floyd.
What's the matter with Pretty Boy we wondered, or better yet Floyd of Rosedale?
Which caused some number of you to wonder, "Who the hell is Floyd of Rosedale?"
............... is Floyd of Rosedale.
His is one of the great stories in College Football, and since today happens to be Floyd's day, you should click on the photo to read it.
We were bombed with Rare Earths material after yesterdays post.
Evidently Carol K. is even more anal about saving links than even we are.
Which makes us both pleased for ourselves and worried for Carol.
What Byron actually said is that there are no publicly traded Western companies for Rare Earth investing with an up and running mine.
Shame on us.
Click on the photo below for the entire piece.
Thanks to all for all the links, we're on it.
After you get done minding your MSGs, mind the TSA.
Gotta go pick up the Roanboy and bring him home for Thanksgiving.
I'm probably going to be scarce for a day or two thereafter.
Meanwhile, this is Roseanne Cash having just been introduced by Carl Perkins, performing Leroy Preston's country classic, My Baby Thinks He's A Train.
That's Steuart Smith on guitar, and the Jordanaires providing backup vocals.
Have a safe Thanksgiving.
Mind your MSGs.
For about the first 90 seconds here, you're gonna wish you could throttle either or both of these little bears.
Hang in there.
By the end you'll know for damn sure who needs strangling.
Trust me on this one.
The much maligned New York Times has come up with some wonderful and instructive interactives over the past several months, this one stands among the best.
You are in charge.
Enact your plan to cut the deficit, the interactive does the math for you.
Click the image below to link up the site.
Thanks to Charley D. for this one.
You Have No Idea How Big Africa Really Is (But This Map Does)
It's about 11.7 million square miles, which is really big—big enough to fit the United States, China, India, Japan, and much of Europe within its borders. And that's precisely what Kai Krause did with this inventive map, "The True Size of Africa," which he describes as his contribution to "the fight against rampant Immappacy."
Click on the above map for the entire piece.
I came in to the office early to study for my Tuesday Algebra 2 and Physics exams and had three emails from my loyal minions, with links to two different versions of the story.
I'm lovin' it.
Click on the photo below for the entire story
A man who identifies himself as Phoenix Jones the Guardian of Seattle, part of the Rain City Superhero Movement, poses with an unidentified Seattle police officer. Department officials alerted officers to the self-described superhero, who said his new costume will be more elaborate.
Vigilante justice has come to Seattle, and the caped crusaders drive a Kia.
Seattle police say a group of self-described superheroes have been patrolling the streets at night trying to save people from crime. They call themselves the Rain City Superhero Movement and say they're part of a nationwide movement of real-life crime fighters.
Thank you minions for an outstanding find.