Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tea Party Waltz

"They really need to realize that the rhetoric ... we're on Sarah Palin's targeted list, but the thing is, that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. When people do that, you gotta realize there's consequences to that action." - Gabrielle Giffords.

"3.49 pm Various Palin sites are frantically removing various incendiary materials - which is both gratifying, but also, it seems to me, an acknowledgment of previous rhetorical excess....Palin's Facebook page simply cannot cope with the number of commenters blasting her" - Andrew Sullivan

An online comment:
I am standing in the aisle at Costco when I found out my Congresswomen, Gabrielle Giffords, has been shot dead up on the north side.
While I’m scrambling with my phone, two couples in front of me are talking about it and suddenly I hear one of the women say, “Well, that’s to be expected when you’re so liberal.”And the other woman says, “Ohh, so we get to appoint a Republican?”
I did not trust myself to speak. I’m a Soldier. Please remind me what country I am fighting for? At least seven people are dead. She happens to be the only member of Congress married to an active duty military.
An eyewitness:
Dr. Steven Rayle, a former emergency room doctor who now works in a hospice, said that he had witnessed the shootings. He said the congresswoman was standing behind a table outside the Safeway greeting passersby when the gunman approached her from behind, held a gun about a foot from her head and began firing.
He must have got off 20 rounds,” he said. Ms. Giffords slumped to the ground and staff members immediately rushed to her aid, Dr. Rayle said.
Dr. Rayle said he performed CPR on some of the victims. He said one of the victims was a young child and appeared to be in critical condition with a gunshot wound.
Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said Giffords was among at least 18 people wounded in the melee that killed six people, including Arizona's chief federal judge, a 9-year-old girl and an aide for the Democratic lawmaker. He said the rampage ended only after two people tackled the assailant.

The sheriff pointed to the vitriolic political rhetoric that has consumed the country as he denounced the shooting that claimed several of his friends as victims, including U.S. District Judge John Roll. The judge attended Mass on Saturday morning like he does every day before stopping by to say hello to his good friend Giffords.

"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous," the sheriff said. "And unfortunately, Arizona I think has become the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

Spencer Giffords, 75, was rushing to the hospital when asked if his 40-year-old daughter had any enemies. "Yeah," he told The New York Post. "The whole tea party."

The price of Tea

Sleeper sell

See Jared Loughner's YouTube clip here.

Tea license

Pain is temporary, pride is forever

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This post is dedicated to rikyrah.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Take your pick...

...and share, share, share.

The 2008 message ain't gonna change for 2012.

There's no reason it should.
Film grain effect
 Smudge effect
 Watercolor effect

Click images to view full-size & download.

November, my heart beats for thee

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Nothing makes a Mega-melt Enthusiast happier than a big jump in atmospheric CO2. TheRaven's last post on CO2, using data reported by the Mauna Loa observatory, expressed sincere hope that we could end 2010 with a bang. November got pretty darn close, posting the 2nd highest year-over-year jump in CO2 seen in any November since the data series began, in 1958. In November 2010, CO2 jumped 2.69ppm over November 2009, a 0.7% increase.

Even better, November 2010 posted one of the 30 largest year-over-year jumps seen in 633 months of data! This means that 2010 is now in 2nd place, tied with 2003 and 1988, as the year with most number of Top-30 entries.

Considering that the Top-30 represents less than 5% of Mauna Loa monthly data, 2010 has earned its place in the annals of melting ice. The odds are, however, that most Top-30 records will be replaced over the next few years. Global population is approaching 7 billion. The global middle class is growing exponentially faster than general population. For example, China's new car market was one-tenth of America's ten years ago. Now it's one-half, with no indications that growth will ever stop.

China recently finished the major phase of it's inter-province expressway system, 13 years ahead of schedule. China's expressway system is second only to the US in terms of mileage. India's economy is now growing at double digit rates. It's fair to say that the aggregate developing world economy has been growing faster - in some cases, much faster - than the US and Euro-zone over the past three years. China's economy has expanded by roughly one-quarter since the Great American Banking Disaster began to unfold. No wonder it's middle class is exploding.

The leading indicator for CO2 is economic activity. Specifically, the size and purchasing power of the global middle-class. CO2 is in turn a leading indicator for global average temperature, which is a nearly real-time indicator for ice melt. The average annual increase in Mauna Loa data over the past 10 years is 2ppm. Top-30 increases range from 33% to 96% above 10-year average. Twenty-three of the Top-30 are clustered in the past 12 years. The next illustration shows temporal positioning of year-over-year monthly increases that exceed long term average growth, represented by the red "peaks".

Click image to view full-size

With 2010's strong CO2 performance and slow improvement in developed nation economies, 2011 may be a breakout year.  Perhaps not as awesome as 1998, but even those records will eventually fall. Visit each month for updates and lots of mega-melt enthusiasm.

While global-warming denialism is beyond ridiculous, the notion that less than 5% of global population can lead the developing world away from carbon-based economics is almost as bad. The developing world follows our economic playbook. In context of unintended consequences, we did our job too well. The previous illustration depicts an accelerating trend. When historians search for the defining event of the 21st century, some may conclude that it occurred in 1944.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Postcards from the edge

This Huffington Post headline is intriguing: Man Makes Ridiculously Complicated Chart To Find Out Who Owns His Mortgage. The chart itself is spectacular rendering of a ridulously complicated "system":
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While the chart is loaded with legal terms and appears to be authoritative, its provenance depends on authorship. If the author is a financial meltdown enthusiast of some sort, the chart could be dismissed as a narrow-focus example, an exaggeration, or perhaps just plain wrong. The chart follows the paths taken by just one mortgage (the author's), through our securitization maze.

We're learning in real-time about a consumer debt system that ran amok. Have a look at this example of  ridiculously reckless development, before we examine the author's bona fides.
Dan Edstrom's chart isn't the product of a hobbyist, although more than a few banks must wish that it was. Dan is a Securitization Auditor. Not only does he analyze mortgage transactions in a professional capacity, he also lectures at securitization seminars given to attorneys. Why do attorneys pay $500 to attend his one-day seminars? The HuffPo article and a related post on the Zero Hedge financial blog, mention only that Dan is employed by DTC Systems.
Dan's bio presents a strong claim to mortgage securitization expertise: President of DTC Systems, Inc, having been in Information Technology for the last 18 years as a Systems Architect and Software Architect.  The transformation of complex business requirements to complex Wall Street Engineering was an easy one. Securitization Expert, Daniel Edstrom analyzes complex financial engineering securitization transactions as well as providing a failure analysis, with well over 4,000 hours of research into Securitization.  Besides working for his own company, Daniel is a Senior Securitization Analyst for Luminaq.

If this post hasn't been sufficiently alarming, consider that Dan needed a year to chart the myriad transactions associated with his own mortgage! After such effort, by a mortgage securitization expert who knows all the institutions, transaction paths and players, the mortgage disaster is easier to understand and more reprehensible than we knew.

Dan's explains all to CNBC, here.

Chart: Huffington Post
Pictures: Huffington Post
Captions: TheRaven