Wednesday, September 21, 2005

General Honore.

I just saw this video feed about General Honore. I hate to think this new phrase will be used for ever and ever (like old commercial slogans such as "where's the beef?"; that one really annoyed me).

The important point here -one that will probably be missed - is that a reporter was getting annoying. He was using an important informative press conference to rehash political blaming (The purpose of the presser was about what residents should do to prepare for Rita in the event it causes damage similar to Katrina). Honore will get derided and yet he will become famous. But the point is that the media is so useless lately.

If you wish to see a small part of the video here, or the text here. I hope to find the whole press conference meeting.

Also noteworthy was Glen Reynolds comment in the same Political Teen post, much further down, about Aaron Brown:

HH: Okay, let's turn to Honore and the press today. Don't get stuck on stupid. You loved that. You've already linked to it over at Why does that resonate, do you think?

GR: Because that's what they've done. I mean, I had a thing on my MSNBC site about Aaron Brown, who over the weekend was attacking FEMA's recommendations that people stockpile food and water as some sort of after the fact CYA thing, completely oblivious to the fact that FEMA and the Red Cross and other people had been recommending that for years. He's stuck on stupid. All he can see is a political story and blame. And that's exactly what the General was talking about. (emphasis mine)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Psycho Trader

I am a real cynic when it comes to my profession. No, I am not defensive about it like, say, a Lawyer who hates jokes about Lawyers and sharks.

But this article made all too much sense to me. Its about a study that looked at how the most successful traders could be called, according to an experiment, "functional psychopaths".

In a study of investors' behavior 41 people with normal IQs were asked to play a simple investment game. Fifteen of the group had suffered lesions on the areas of the brain that affect emotions.

The result was those with brain damage outperformed those without.

The scientists found emotions led some of the group to avoid risks even when the potential benefits far outweighed the losses, a phenomenon known as myopic loss aversion.

So we are talking about brain-damaged people that have misfunctioning emotional centers of the brain.

"Emotions serve an adaptive role in speeding up the decision-making process," said Shiv.

"However, there are circumstances in which a naturally occurring emotional response must be inhibited, so that a deliberate and potentially wiser decision can be made."

Sure, you wouldn't be blamed for saying that this seems like a silly experiment, where's the data?, what was the control group like, how can these average people really expect to know what its like working with these jerks on a dealing room floor. [Ok that last one was my criticism]. Afterall, it was only an artile on Yahoo's most emailed.

But in real life, it makes perfect sense to me. The guys making these tremendous profits in the big dealing rooms of NY or London are rarely people you wish to hang out with. They are cheapskates, they are callous, they are cheats on their girls, they are cocky. They are, in shockingly numerous occasions, liars without remorse. I do admit that their are certainly honest, humble and noble, successful traders; and these are real diamonds in the rough mostly because they are even more impressive to have succeeded in a world of such bluster and arrogance.

But to categorize them as psychopaths explains a lot. The short definition for "psychopath" is "A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse."


Hedge Fund by any other name.

Today I received an email from a Balkan-based broker. Apparently they wrote some research that mentioned a hedge fund in the UK as the buyer of a stock in the local market.

The fund, let us just call them "Assmore" (which is amazingly similar to the real name).

So Assmore writes to the broker and makes them put out a correction because they do not want to be known as a hedge fund.

I wrote to the broker and said, "They just wanted to yell at you because they are dickheads".

I also included a small guide for hedgefunds:

Assmore has all qualities of a hedgefund because
  1. They have lots of money. [Someone else's money.]
  2. They have lots of leverage that gears them up to incredibly, mind bogglingly high monetary amounts that could wreak havoc and destruction of a few financial markets when they screw up.
  3. They have lots of ego [Arrogance, rudeness, stupidity, need for compliments] - on the part of the 23 year old dealers who think they are God's gift to the financial market. [Note, it is always wise to note their names and see where they are in 10 years time - so you can laugh at their misery]
  4. Their trading is based on : 10% research, 80% insider information, 10% mistake [by confusing the order of buy for a sell. ] And if you don't give them the insider information they think you are useless.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Opinion piece from Peggy Noonan.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Enteric Emitters

Just recieved an email news story about the agricultural concerns of "Enteric Emitters".

Along with Greenhouse gases emitted by the burning of coal, diesel, heating oil, wood, etc., for the creation of energy or heat for smelting iron, and the more natural concerns of cut plants that are left to decay in compost heaps (which emit gases like methane, I think), there is, apparently, a real concern about "enteric fermantation".

That is, I do believe but cannot yet be absolutely certain, that they are talking about animal farting!

Enteric fermantation gives rise to a whole new group of environmental enteric emitters.

I wonder if they will start measuring the average human's enteric emissions and we will all be forced to submit to measurements which in turn will lead to our bodies being viewed as enteric emission machines; ie., we will need to have our own emissions allowances.

My older brother, someone who has more than his share of enteric emissions, and the most lethal, would probably be in the market to buy emissions allowances just to cover himself before a night out eating at his favorite mexican restaurant.


Friday, September 09, 2005


Please consider using Firefox Mozilla to view this site. Explorer sucks. (Even Netscape is better).


One thing, even if it is this only one thing, to know about Firefox that will make your life so much simpler, is the use of opening links in a new tab. Why so different? Well, when I come to work in the morning and read the news, I first of all go down the left column of my Blog and pick which news organizations, or Blogs, I want to read and right click to open in new tab. Why is that so special? Well you can go through 3 or 4, I think up to 9 tabs, that you want to open and it does not replace what you are doing just then.

Sorry if this is so incredibly Un-techy, but consider how easy it is for a nerdy un-techy like me.

By the way I actually found this three-column formula on a blog (ruthsarian, I think?) and tweaked it (means I f*cked around on it for days, no, weeks) to learn how to make it better (well, I think its better).

And now I look at it on Explorer out of curiousity and find it all screwed up. So... I go to figure out how to fix it.

How annoying.


Damned If You Do & After The Damnation.

Two stories (one and two)I read today that worried me from their titles alone. But they were very telling overall.

The first, a Washington Post article, left me with a feeling that of all the reasons for everyone's delay in acting to help (I mean local, state, federal gov't and separately the President), the most important issue was something along the lines of : we better protect our asses for what happens afterwards. For example, the President was afraid of moving becasue his advisors thought that after he would be accused of having acted illegally. Doing something illegal is not the issue - especially if you felt it was the best course of action in a very tough situation - but fearing what the Democrats would do later, that is a crime.

I am sure that he was not the quickest off the mark, especially with huge doubts about what was going on at what time (could the city government handle it?, could the state government handle it?, etc, ) would have been a big problem. But still, this fight after the fact, is ridiculous.

The second article is about Powell's interview with Barbara Walters. I wondered if he would trash the President. He didn't at all. Definitely he had some problems (which he seemed to be very politically astute about; ie, he was not bitter about anyone in particular) but still, he supports one main plank in my platform of reasons: pulling US troops out now is a mistake. (I would go further to say that its a starkly naive request of liberals, but that's just me. )

I wonder what Powell's plans are for the future? I wonder if the next administration will have a role for him.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Operation Red Cup.

What a loon.

I like the Day by Day cartoon description: 'classic liberal theory "meets application"'


Saturday, September 03, 2005

Aaron Brown: You Lousy Stooge

An ex Army Corp of Engineers chief was being interviewed on Aaron Brown's Newsnight*, explaining how the OMB (office of managment and budget) has a process that weakens the efforts to rebuild things like Levees. (I was impressed how this ex-chief portrayed the investment into infrastructure as something you do for your children, meaning it is a long process that takes years and money spend now will benefit many years later).

He made a comment at the beginning to the effect that even if the levee didn't break, the city would still be underwater.

So this guy was discussing how, I believe, the problem is more to do with this 'it doesn't get me votes now' response of all politicians.

The analysis of needs for longer term projects, larger sums of money (I think he said it was in 1965 that money was put aside for levee strengthening), the pork barrel politics of where money goes, the other aspects of job creation, etc. And the OMB testimonies in front of congress, they are only allowed to testify on what the OMB wants, not what the individual really thinks. More along this line that really seemed to make Brown a bit annoyed. After all, the leader for the article was something along the line of '... next is an ex-Army Corp of Engineers chief who is critical of the ...(investmetn) into infrastructure efforst that could have lessened (not prevented) the flooding of New Orleans.

Brown interrupts him and says "well, sir, that really reflects on your loyalty to the administration you serve, doesn't it." (rhetorically).

The ex-chief opens his mouth on the right side of the split screen to object - as Brown announces they are going to a break - and this guy realises he was basically used to be critical of the president and basically diluted his complaint about the process.

He would have probably said it would have happened to any president. That is, at least, what I believe.

Tell me this, Aaron Brown, you lousy stooge: would the situation be much different if Clinton was in power? No, the whole point is, according to the guy you intereviewed was that it was a problem of government bureacracy.

CNN, reign in this idiot. Send him back to Seattle where he can go on having affairs with his assistants. (I am from Seattle where Aaron Brown was a local newscaster).

I am SICK of this dramatization of the event. As the mayor of New Orleans (Ray Nagin>?) said, 'no more news conferences, a moratorium on news conferences. Get down here and help.

Forget the politics for now. Stop showing Bush in idiotic flim clips. CNN, do something a bit more useful.

*(Brown probably thinks of himself, News Knight, lopping off heads of Republicans).

Friday, September 02, 2005

'10:49 P.M. - (AP): Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco declared war on looters as 300 National Guard troops landed in New Orleans fresh from duty in Iraq. "These troops know how to shoot and kill, and they are more than willing to do so, and I expect they will," she said.' - WWL TV News site

'Admit It: Katrina's Victims Are Blacks' - Sploid News