Radley Balko of Reason.com posted this Tampa news channel's cheerful puff piece about a federal check point set up at a Greyhound bus station to pretend to stop terrorists, as well as nab unregistered immigrants, drug dealers, and cash smugglers.
It's not difficult to envision the day where anyone wishing to take mass transportation in this country will have to first submit to a government checkpoint, show ID, and answer questions about any excess cash, prescription medication, or any other items in his possession the government deems suspicious. If and when that happens, freedom of movement will essentially be dead. But it won't happen overnight. It'll happen incrementally. And each increment will, when taken in isolation, appear to some to be perfectly reasonable.
The Cringely 2010 (Not in Silicon Valley) Startup Tour
10:43 pm EST, Feb 8, 2010
Starting next month I will be accepting from readers nominations for interesting startup companies in six general categories — biotech, energy, entertainment, information technology, materials, and transportation. Over the course of about six weeks we will examine and discuss as a community these nominated companies of which I am hoping there will be hundreds, primarily not from Silicon Valley or any other tech hotbeds. I’ll have some assistance in this process from the Kauffman Foundation.
Together we’ll whittle the number down to 24 then come June I will set off with my family in our RV to visit all 24. We’ll camp in the parking lot or in the driveway of the CEO and spend a couple days at each startup, learning about the company, the people, their technology and their market. I’ll take with me a small camera crew and we’ll produce what will begin with a summer of blogging and end with a 13-part TV reality series
This year we are proud to present on Saturday, December 5th at The End the sixth installment of the Buzz & Click showcase of local live performance of electronic and experimental music (no DJ sets). The format of the show is 10 half-hour blocks of time starting at 9p and running until 2a in the morning with very tight (5 minute) turnaround between sets, so it’s nearly solid five hours of the best unusual music Nashville has to offer. This year’s lineup:
Synapse Trap 9-9:25 (Former Spun counter guy Tim Buchanan & friends mashing things up) 84001 9:30-9:55 (ambient duo Timothy Carey and Jimmy Thorn) Styches 10-10:25 (Kyle Hammet and Kelli Shay from LYLAS on violins and other things) Oliver Dodd 10:30-10:55 (deeply minimal electronics) Jensen Sportag 11-11:25 (electro-pop duo Austin Wilkinson & Benji Craig) Logickal 11:30-11:55 (solo laptop wizardry from co-founder Jeremy Dickens) Bluff Duo 12-12:25 (prepared guitar and woodwinds from Brady Sharp and Dave Maddox) DAAS 12:30-12:55 (Matt Pusti’s non-Makeup & Vanity Set IDM project) Leslie Keffer 1-1:25 (opening act for Sonic Youth @ City Hall in 2008 brings her own noise) Forrest Bride 1:30-until (supergroup of experimental musicians fronted by Ben & Amy Marcantel)
Tickets are $7 at the door (no advance sales, sorry.)
We will have brand new T-shirts and posters from this show and some from previous years for sale at the event. They're being done by Grand Palace so you know they will be amazing.
The End: 2219 Elliston Pl Nashville, TN 37203-5205 (615) 321-4457
The gross injustice in our nation today is that over the last twenty years we have increasingly forced borrowers who take out bad loans to not only go bankrupt but be unable to discharge their debt, so long as they are individuals. The corporate bankrupt, however, maintain their "corporate veil" and thus can file Chapter 11 - or 7 - with impunity.
This is the root of the problems in our economy. It is the root cause of the credit bubble. It is the root cause of the housing bubble and the ridiculously-pumped pulled-forward demand curve that is now inexorably collapsing, despite the protests of The Fed, Treasury and The Administration.
We will not return to a balanced economy capable of organic growth so long as this imbalance exists.
Recent analysis has shown that the FHA's "AUS TOTAL" decision-making program (computer-based underwriting) has been intentionally calibrated to produce unsustainable loans. Indeed, as I have documented FHA will provide an "approve" return on DTIs (when one includes the FHA "fudge factors") as high as 49% of gross income. This is clearly an unaffordable loan and is reflected in the current FHA delinquency and foreclosure rate which stands, at this point at more than one in five loans.
The true ugliness here is that these stats are far worse than they first appear. Why? Because more than half of the FHA total loan portfolio has been originated in the last two years.
Consider what this default ratio means given the portfolio composition, as there are only two possibilities - either the FHA is intentionally making loans that are defaulting quickly, within the first 24 months, or the older FHA loans are defaulting at an astronomical rate.
FHA is less-than-forthcoming when it comes to testimony before Congress on this point, and apparently, Congress has buried its head in the sand as well. Indeed, we have Congresspeople making statements that making dangerously-unsustainable loans is a "policy" intended to head off housing price declines.
But does and will it?
Does giving someone a loan that will foreclose in a year or two actually head off housing declines? Or does it simply bankrupt more Americans and defer the inevitable house price decline by a short period of time - a year or two at most, perhaps as little as a few months?
News that the FDIC fund is negative ~$8 billion does not reassure me that everything's okay. Seen those yields on 3 and 6 month treasuries lately? Effectively zero with speculation of heading into negative territory by year's end.
Treasury officials now face a trifecta of headaches: a mountain of new debt, a balloon of short-term borrowings that come due in the months ahead, and interest rates that are sure to climb back to normal as soon as the Federal Reserve decides that the emergency has passed.
Even as Treasury officials are racing to lock in today’s low rates by exchanging short-term borrowings for long-term bonds, the government faces a payment shock similar to those that sent legions of overstretched homeowners into default on their mortgages.
With the national debt now topping $12 trillion, the White House estimates that the government’s tab for servicing the debt will exceed $700 billion a year in 2019, up from $202 billion this year, even if annual budget deficits shrink drastically. Other forecasters say the figure could be much higher...
The United States will not be the only government competing to refinance huge debt. Japan, Germany, Britain and other industrialized countries have even higher government debt loads, measured as a share of their gross domestic product, and they too borrowed heavily to combat the financial crisis and economic downturn...
The White House estimates that the government will have to borrow about $3.5 trillion more over the next three years. On top of that, the Treasury has to refinance, or roll over, a huge amount of short-term debt that was issued during the financial crisis. Treasury officials estimate that about 36 percent of the government’s marketable debt — about $1.6 trillion — is coming due in the months ahead...