Alpine Summit

Friday, November 28, 2008

Doing the Right Thing

It seems that governments around the world are on the right track with this financial problem by cutting rates.

For those of you not cool enough to have majored in business or finance in college, cutting federal borrowing rates means the benchmark for all rates in a given country are lower.  THIS means that it is cheaper for people to borrow money and makes borrowing more attractive for the entrepreneurs of that country.

Again, what does this mean? Well the level of economic prosperity or growth can be tied to the level of lending and borrowing going on in a country.  No business ever grows without spending more than it is making to simply do business.  Many times, profit margins are so thin that businesses can't wait to build up the cash it needs to expand or grow, so it must borrow.  This gets into time value of money and other complicated things I won't go into-- if you're interested, I'm sure Wikipedia can tell you what you want to know.  Bottom line, if there is more borrowing/lending going on, there is better economic prosperity (assuming the loans are to relatively low-risk borrowers :ahem:).

So the fact that countries are planning to either leave their rates unchanged or drop them should help businesses find some modicum of firm footing to recover.  This means that as long as government provides the benchmarks on which the private sector can rely, this economic problem can easily be resolved.  The trick is to keep politicians from thinking they're in charge of anything and simply let businesses sort this out themselves while providing the best possible conditions FOR businesses... after all, they (businesses) are the experts!  Trillion dollar bailouts are certainly not the right answer.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Like Instapundit Said

"I'm starting to get tired of all thise 'Obama as FDR' talk."

He links to this blog about Obama's first 100 days and how they are trying to take FDR's first 100 days as a model for his administration.  That's all well and good, but the author lavishes praise on FDR as if he had something to do with getting the country out of the depression.

First off, the person nobody ever gives credit for pulling the world out of the depression is Adolf Hitler.  It was because of World War II that industry was able to output at levels never before seen and employ all those people who were out of work during the depression.   I guess it's not palatable for some people to think Hitler could be associated with anything positive like ending the depression.  Not that I think it was good he started a war.

Secondly, FDR's "new deal" policies did nothing to pull the country out of the depression.  Yes he employed workers and did many public work projects, but he also set a terrible precedent that we are still living with today: the idea that it is the government that should bail people out when they fall on tough financial times.  The difference today being that people expected you work for your dollar from the government as opposed to it simply being handed to you-- for that FDR certainly got it right. The country simply limped along until WWII could come.  In fact, FDR was a big advocate of joining the fight!

Which brings me to a sidebar about how Obama has backtracked on his willingness to pull troops from Iraq.  At first he said he would pull them out the day after taking office.  After being shown that this would weaken us strategically, Obama recognized the "tiger by the tail" situation we're in with that particular conflict (which I won't go into) and backtracked on that position and now says he will "examine the situation before making a decision."  I think that at least shows he's willing to correct his own flawed policies and hopefully get over this notion he seems to have that he has all the answers.

One thing I do credit the new deal with is that it gave people in the country hope that they would be okay.  It was, as most democratic things are, more about people perceiving they would be okay versus actually being okay.  For that, FDR got it right and was a widely loved president because of it.  Another accomplishment FDR made was instituting farming incentives that many conservatives hate today, but encouraged fertile land preservation which contributed to ending the dust bowl.

Bottom line: while the people in the upcoming administration are studying FDR's first 100 days, and have certainly chosen a good president to emulate, perhaps they should look at the other 5000 days and not try to follow him too closely.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Left 4 Dead Sucks

This is more a venting than anything else.  It isn't that I have any real problems with the game itself; in fact, I rather enjoy it.  I like the AI, the surprises and the wholesale slaughter of the undead.

What I DON'T like about the game is that I bought a DVD at Best Buy that apparently does nothing  but point you to the download site.  Apparently all I was really buying was the software key inside the  box.  Upon inserting the disc to install, I was taken to the steam app, which I already installed for the demo, to install the game!  So assuming the steam servers aren't inundated with download requests, it should only be a matter of mere hours to get to play the game you bought that was presumably already on the DVD-- but not.  That was one.

Also, barring problems with your network, the download should go smoothly.  Again, if the game were on the disc that accompanied the key, this wouldn't be a problem or even a concern!  For the life of me, I can't understand the logic of Valve studios making people download the content versus putting no more than a setup bootstrap, to download the game, on a DVD. That's two.

Finally, if Steam isn't up to date, it conveniently crashes to let you know it isn't running the latest-- whatever it is Steam runs on.  Then when you try to get back into Steam, it continually tries updating before allowing you back in.  Unfortunately you then have to go into the Steam folder in explorer and delete the .blob file that keep making it check the same busy server over and over again before it will try updating elsewhere.  This was strike three for me.  I've already sunk the money into the game so I must continue until I have zombie killing goodness at my fingertips-- but buyers beware!

Oh, and suck it Steam. You guys suck too for making me wait 6 hours to play a game I bought ON A DVD!!!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

In the Name of Unity

Why is it that when liberals win high political offices, we hear about "now it's time to heal the country and put partisan hatreds aside?" On top of that, why do we usually hear nothing but "liberals tried to reconcile with conservatives, but the conservatives would not hear their arguments?"

It seems that since the media is so biased toward left-leaning ideologies the onus is on the conservatives to defend their point of view.  Maybe prominent conservatives should challenge the assumptions of their interviewers more and learn to control the media and their biases by exposing them with questions challenging their original views that led to the question asked.

An example of this is something like O'Reilly did the other night being interviewed by his old college professor.  I loved this interview, because he was so clear on what he was saying and easily "nailed" (as Colbert would say) this lefty professor and his flawed logic.

Anyway, I hope more interviews should happen like this with conservatives and not just "traditional thinkers."


Thursday, November 13, 2008

WoW Player Collapses

I just got done reading this highly biased UK article about video gamers who play video games too much, calling it "video game addiction."

I'm reminded of that experiment where a monkey is given two buttons: one for food and one for pleasure.  The monkey would push the pleasure button until it literally starved to death.  I'm not saying that I agree with people who say video game addictions are real (or bad), but I don't disagree with them either.  However, being sentient human beings with PARENTS to control their kid's habits before entering adulthood seems to be the first fact to realize in all this and who exactly should get the blame.

I'm wondering how long it will be until we start hearing about "big gaming" or some such other nonsense like "big tobacco," "big oil," "big pharma," or my favorite: "big fast food."  Liberals are so good at blaming the profit-makers as if it were their original goal to corrupt people somehow and that people don't make these choices of their own accord.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Some Things to Expect with the New Administration

I was thinking about things that we could expect with the new administration below.

1. Talk of America being a racist country, from such places as Iran or China, can no longer be made.

2. Socialist policies that create stagnating innovation and substandard healthcare that will quickly throw the country into a new level of debt as people "work the system" for their freebies from the government.

3. No more blaming by the media on Republican policies causing problems in the country.

4. An end to American troops abroad (read: Afghanistan/Iraq) which is either good or bad depending on your point of view.  Instead, we will have many "negotiators" to give magic arguments to bloodthirsty, theocratic dictators that will show them the error of their ways and change their policies.

5. Business will be run into the ground and the stock market will fall even further once point two has been implemented.

A country where success is punished and business is killed, where the country is made impotent by our leadership's policies.  A place where the leadership's reluctance to use force to enforce the country's will will encourage our enemies and leave us vulnerable to attack. A place that will encourage disparagement in people and provide them hand outs instead of hand-ups. If we thought things were bad before, just wait... that's what I call hopenchange.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

So I was thinking this blog will simply be a diary of sorts recording my thoughts about the world and culture.  I know it's kind of scattershot, but I find putting things down somewhere other than my head to be fairly soothing.  Something tells me I'm going to need it the way this election has gone so far.