179. tech choice: inflight cellphones?

July 25, 2009 § Leave a comment

This is a crucial indicator of market vs. democracy.

In-flight calling soon to be allowed south of the border

by Tim Stevens, posted Jul 24th 2009 at 7:33AM

While in-flight WiFi is slowly becoming a reality in more and more jets going to more and more places, in-flight calling seems to be stuck in a holding pattern. Whether that’s good or bad news depends on your like or dislike of hearing folks blab on their cellys and/or your propensity for wearing headphones mid-flight. If you answered “love it” or “I don’t go nowhere without my Boses” you may want to consider a trip south of the border — that’s Mexico, not the glorified rest stop in South Carolina. Soon, travelers there will no longer have to keep their handsets safely stowed or in airplane mode, with the Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes, or SCT (the Mexican FCC equivalent), approving cellphones en-masse for flights anywhere in the nation. This cancels an earlier edict made in 2001 banning their use, and while Mexico’s federal government still has to approve things, that’s not expected to take long. So, who’s willing to risk swine flu, gang violence, and other overly-sensationalized risks to get their mid-air talky on?

via Engadget.


178. secrecy in the Obama admin

July 25, 2009 § Leave a comment

Scott Horton works at  unKeeping the Dark Lord’s Secrets

The Obama Justice Department has demonstrated few things more clearly than its commitment to keep the dirtiest secrets of its predecessors. One absurd example is the controversy over the notes from Dick Cheney’s fateful interview with FBI agents about his role in the outing of Valerie Plame, a covert CIA agent—an exercise that carried him to the brink of being indicted. The Obama Justice team is convinced that America is better off not knowing what Dick Cheney told the G-men. In support of this view, it advances some dubious propositions.

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177. Anthropology and economics

July 23, 2009 § Leave a comment

Mirowski takes this on.


Economics tries to get rid of culture while anthropology focuses on myth and ritual, and kinship.

176.another view of gate away from river.

July 23, 2009 § Leave a comment


175. Mall investment as model of bad investment

July 23, 2009 § Leave a comment

Lets say you have a million, and can borrow 9 million, and build a mall for 10 million in a location where population and spending are increasing. In the first year profit on rent may be 1 million, half of which is payable to the bank as interest. You then have a profit of half a million, or fifty percent of your own money. Pretty good. Two years later, growth in population stops as the community is built out. Rising expectations (projections) on which the mall loan was based are thwarted. Rents decline (especially on stores like home depot that were selling to unfinished homes.). rents are down… if the mall owner has used the now existing building as further collateral for a loand to buld out yet more malls or other investments, so much the worse.

So the typical mall building is speculative and almost certain to get into trouble. This contrast with investment that comes from savings and not from borrowing, which is the old way, amplified by small loans backed by solid security.in this case on the resale value of the mall, not its projected income.

This borrow to invest model is what has gotten us into trouble.

174. Bill Greider – How the Fed Prints Money Out of Thin Air

July 22, 2009 § Leave a comment

He wrote the best book on the fed many years ago. Also author of Who will Tell the People, which fist made me awware o over production in the world. this was many years ago also. the Fed now…

This awkward reality explains the dilemma facing the Fed. It cannot stand too much visibility, nor can it easily explain or justify its peculiar status. The Federal Reserve is the black hole of our democracy — the crucial contradiction that keeps the people and their representatives from having any voice in these most important public policies. Thats why the central bankers have always operated in secrecy, avoiding public controversy and inevitable accusations of special deal-making. The current crisis has blown the central banks cover. Many in Congress are alarmed, demanding greater transparency. More than 250 House members are seeking an independent audit of Fed accounts. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi observed that the Fed seems to be poaching on Congressional functions — handing out public money without the bother of public decision-making.

via AlterNet: A Dark Hole of Democracy: How the Fed Prints Money Out of Thin Air.

173. Asian inflation?

July 22, 2009 § Leave a comment

How key is this to the future?

Asia reflation moves to the wild sideAsian reflation is poised to take on a wild life of its own, forcing policymakers at some point to accept that dollar flows are destabilizing and unmanageable. China, in particular, faces an intensifying predicament, with a rejuvenated boom that will prove impervious to central bank tinkering and an ever-increasing accumulation of IOUs of deteriorating quality.

via ATimes.net.

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