A Cynical Look On Gold and the United States Dollar

First, I would like to apologize for the lack of activity. Finals week is time consuming.

Second, I would like to draw your attention to this article, written by Antal E. Fekete. Antal E. Fekete is a renound professor of Mathematics and Statistics at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is a sought after expert in monetary science and gold. He currently resides in Romania.
Basically, this article spells out the collapse of our currency.

As we speak, you may still be able to trade gold for dollars. However, when gold goes into backwardation, as it has, this will become much more difficult.

This rampant deflation that is speculatively resulting from the housing crash is a bad "omen" This type of deflation often occurs right before hyperinflation- where a loaf of bread costs $600 and single dollar bills are best used as fuel for a fire.

Oil is below $50 a barrel. I remember that not long ago we were breaking $150 a barrel. Has demand for oil really gone down that much? Did "speculation" really have that much of an affect on the price? Well, no. And today, when the feds set the reserve rate at a mere .25% and prices are still low. When that happens, you know there is a problem.

A Cynical Look On Governor Rod Blagojevich

Aah, politics of the Windy City. In the words of the Feds: "Illinois is surely the most politically corrupt state in the USA"

As a resident of Illinois for 18 years, I have furiously and publicly commented on Blagojevich's corruption, but to no avail. Chicago votes almost entirely Democrat in every election. Blagojevich won re-election in the office even with ongoing corruption investigations by the Federal Government. All that he needed to do was run a few purely negative ads against his opponent, wining the office by a landslide. I wouldn't be surprised if Satan himself were elected into office in Illinois. All the devil himself would need is a (D) next to his name on the ballot and a negative ad campaign calling his opponents fat. And no, I do not intend to associate all Democrats with beings of the underworld, but I merely comment that the residents of Chicago are incapable of discerning truth from fiction.

"Blagojevich was arrested Tuesday, accused of seeking money or other favors to influence his choice in picking Obama's replacement. The governor has authority to appoint the replacement, but top Illinois lawmakers have said they are preparing to call the Legislature into session as early as next week to set a special election to choose Obama's successor."

Rod Blagojevich represents political corruption in its purest form. You do not sell a political office. He had the chance to put someone in office that catered to his every whim, but that wasn't enough. He needed to have a sizable bribe to go with it. That isn't even the worst part. This man has been getting away with this sort of blatant corruption for YEARS! Even with the entire population against him, which would make it impossible to properly govern a state, he refuses to relinquish his office. It is quite clear that this man never had the interest of the people in mind when he took the position.

None of these charges come as a surprise to me. However, what does come as a surprise to me is the pure STUPIDITY of the man. Why on earth would you so openly try to sell a position when you were under federal investigation. Not even a child is naive enough to sneak cookies from the cookie jar while his parents are in the room. Yet, this is the man that the general public of Illinois has chosen to support for two terms. A man who has run the state into more debt than it has ever been in history, to the point that is competing with California in terms of red marks. A man that introduced a bill to congress with intent to tax gross income instead of profit for businesses. At least near the end of his reign his approval dropped from 70% to 30% and most recently to 04%. I almost feel that if Satan was an option, he would have done a better job.

As for Rod: he is going to be in time out for a while.

Related Reading
Here - About Obama
Here - About Jesse Jackson
Rod telling everyone he didn't do anything wrong
Detailed Story

A Cynical Look On Chain Posts

While perusing Facebook, I happen across groups and walls that have given me an unfortunate, if not unexpected, revelation. The average internet user is a moron. While I could rant about how people are stupid for ages, instead I'll toss out some examples and analyze them. This will start with the most common element of horrible stupidity, the chain letter post.
The chain letter post, reviled by everyone with a working prefrontal lobe, is disgustingly common. I'll now analyze two of them. For the love of all that isn't terrible, please do not take these chain posts seriously. I beg of you, do not repost these abominations without adding something resembling analysis of the absurdity of them. If you see chain posts anywhere, please direct the poster to this article. Perhaps with some knowledge these forces of evil can be conquered.

Warning: Chain Posts Beyond This Poi
nt, Skip to the word "Banana" to avoid.


Now we'll analyze this post. The first thing a normal person will notice is that the entire post is in capital letters, a sure sign of a degenerate mind. Next, the first sentence says to not read. A second warning flag for anyone who doesn't skip posts written in all capitals because degenerate minds have nothing important to say. After ignoring this warning, we arrive at being kissed on Friday by the love of your life. That doesn't sound too bad. Of course, then there's the point where it warns if the post isn't reposted the reader will die in two days. That's nice and all, but what happens if Friday is more than two days away? Is the love of your life going to kiss your corpse? Does death void the contract? If not, should it bother you that the love of your life is a necrophile according to the chain letter? And wouldn't that make them the love of your death? Thus rendering the chain letter wrong? Next is the point where the letter "u" is substituted for the word "you," something acceptable if you are in a hurry on the internet. However, when someone has had time to write something, arbitrary word shortening is another sure sign of a degenerate mind. Another warning sign for even the dimmest bulbs to seek shelter outside of the overwhelming stench of stupidity emitted from a chain post. Next comes the arbitrary number and time limit, followed by bait. The point where this claims that if one presses F6 after following all the instructions, the person you have a crush on's name will appear in big letters on your screen is, of course, the point where this post is claiming that your computer can read your mind. If my computer can read my mind, I have much more to be scared of than a chain letter working.

The above paragraph is safe to read, and should make some semblance of sense even to those of you who would not read the chain letter.

Second Chain Letter Starts Here. Once more, "Banana" will get you safely past.

1. Say ur name 10x
2. Say ur mom's name 5x
3. Say ur crushes name 3x
4. then paste this to 4 other quizs, if you do this your crush will kiss you on the nearest friday! But if you read this and did not paste this, then you will have very bad luck

Once more, it starts with all capitals, a sign that has already been touched upon. Next comes a number, something that seems safe. Unfortunately, following the number is poor grammar, another thing that I've already touched upon. The creator of this obviously couldn't be bothered to run spellcheck either, for it not only misspells "quizzes," but also forgets to capitalize "Friday."
The content, however, is quite different. Now you're being instructed to repeat things for some reason, followed by a plea for reposting, a promise of a kiss, and then a threat of bad luck, if you have not already reposted it. Now that the content has been covered, a few hypothetical scenarios should be as well. If a child is an orphan and reads this, are they doomed to bad luck? What happens if you have no crush? If you have had your name changed, or go by a nickname, what name should you use? Also, what exactly is bad luck? If I'm deathly afraid of becoming rich, will I find a winning lotto ticket?

"Banana" Once more, the above paragraph is safe to read for those of you who for some reason are unable or unwilling to read chain posts.

As a whole, chain posts offer comedic value to those of us who don't take them seriously. However, as shown by the abundance of these things, some people do take them seriously. How so much can be attributed to the powers of a chain letter I will never understand. For instance, in the one where the computer somehow is able to read your mind, the chain letter has mystically granted it this ability. How and for what purpose was my computer designed to be able to read my mind? Unfortunately, these things have become far too common, and as such, are far too annoying to be mildly tolerated any more.

Chain posts in the comments will be deleted.

A Cynical Look at Speeding Tickets and Speed Limits

Ahh, the familiar flashing lights and irritating siren. What did you do this time?

-Reckless Driving?
-Armed Robbery?
-Possession of Illegal Materials?
-Throwing pennies at other moving vehicles?
-Fishing for Whales in Nebraska?
-Speaking English in Illinois? "The State recognized language is actually written as (American)"

How about driving ten in a five mile an hour zone?
Although it sounds ridiculous, it is perfectly legal for cops to issue tickets on charges like these, and they do all the time. I don't know about you, but I find it extremely difficult to get my car to travel at a constant five miles per hour.

Because people drive machines instead of machines driving people, it is not really possible or reasonable to impose a speed limit of five miles per hour. That is why in most cases you can get a ticket like this dismissed by the judge. There is one problem however, and it is a problem most cops issue tickets knowing full well: Time. (Opportunity Cost in Economic terms)

Alleged Speeder: "This ticket is unreasonable!"

Policeman: "Maybe, but is it really worth your time to do anything about it?"

Even though many are being charged an unreasonable amount, court cases are often scheduled while they are at work or out of town. Although the case can be rescheduled, in most cases it requires the defendant to appear before the judge just to petition for a different date. There is also the fact that they may be better off just working that day, because they make can make more working in the time it would take to get rid of the ticket than the ticket is actually worth. All for driving five miles over the speed limit!

The thing is, it costs the government more money to lower a speed limit. Especially in residential areas. In other words, it costs YOU more money whenever you see a speed limit sign lower than the default residential limit of Twenty-five, regardless of you adhering to these speed limits or not. The only thing that is physically changed are some numbers on a sheet of paper, and all the old signs are switched out for new ones. The problem is that there is so much legislation and bureaucracy involved in changing a speed limit, that the costs of actually doing it are enormous.

In this case a city paid $250 to re-post the couple of signs adjacent to a school from 25 to 20mph.

This problem presents itself not only in America. An example is be this case where citizens wanted to lower the speed limit from 50km/h to 40km/h and that it would cost $500,000. They later opted to simply "remove the old signs and not replace them" because that was a much cheaper alternative.

Some would argue that it is worth the cost, because it forces people to go slower and somehow overall saves money. However, this argument contains a logical fallacy: It assumes that all people will obey the posted speed limit to the letter. Studies show (this is a government site) that changing the speed limit not only does not affect the speed at which most people drive, but distances the legal speed from the speed that 85% of people travel. This causes more accidents because there is a greater variance in the speeds that people are traveling at.

In the endgame, whenever somebody lowers the speed limit the citizens not only get more tickets, but pay more to give out the tickets. This is at a theoretical gain with little evidence to support it.

I'm Sam, and I am not driving 5 miles per hour.

A Cynical Look at EA Games

Once upon a time games that were buggy, boring, generally unplayable, or just plain terrible had a short life expectancy. That was a golden time where a game that was reviewed well would actually be good. That time has been and gone. This time is dominated by giant publishers, some of which routinely produce good games. EA is not one of those publishers.

EA is a publishing company that actually can claim responsibility for the failures of the games it publishes. I remember when I was beta testing Hellgate: London. My first response was they had a terrific skeleton of a game, and with a little work, it could be great. We, the beta testers, clamored for a delay in the release of the game so that the problems could be ironed out and a game fit for play could be released. EA didn't see things that way, and Hellgate London has now failed. I can't help but believe many other games have the exact same dilemma of knowing what to fix, how to fix it, and having the publisher not allow them to in order to meet a schedule.

EA may produce sports games that don't suck. Honestly, however, name a single sports game that changes so much year to year a downloadable roster and a few mods couldn't do the same thing. Not even the sports games are truly above the line of sucking, however. If you've ever tried to play one made for the computer, you quickly realize how much a sports game can suck.

EA appears to aim for mediocrity and fall short. I can't see the sense in that. EA's tendency to do this has been commented by many before me, including "Yahtzee" Crokshaw, a game reviewer with a weekly video review. Apparently, however, one can become a gigantic publishing powerhouse by aiming to be meh. With the knowledge that EA actively hurts the quality of the games they produce, I cannot help but declare that they suck.

I've prepared a scale of things that suck, for those who may be visual people. Farther down the scale it is, the more it sucks.

EA has reported a net loss of over four hundred million dollars this year. I cannot help but wonder, if they would have produced more good games and fewer complete disasters, if that number may have been on the other side of the zero mark. As such, EA's failures as a publisher have done to EA exactly what this giant companies deserves.

A Cynical Look On Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir

Edit: About the Cartels: Google is telling me that a lot of people are ending up on this page searching for info about them. So here are your questions answered:
If you're wondering, the last level of the cartel does not offer any special reward. It sucks and seems unfinished because honestly, it never was.
The "merchant" the cartels send you is that guy they put near the entrance. He has nothing to sell you. The only benefit to signing up with them is that they add more items to the blacksmith for you to buy.
The only difference between the cartels are the types of items that get sent to the blacksmith for you to buy, your feat reward, and how people react to your decision.
Depressing, I know-- but that's it.

Storm of Zehir, the newest Neverwinter Nights 2 expansion pack, is one of the most recent DnD RPGs to roll off the rack. Its game dynamics, although similar to the unexpanded version, have been largely revamped. The expansion does make many changes to the game play that I applaud. The new traveling system is an improvement, and the game finally allows you to have up to 4 characters custom made instead of being forced to travel with characters that you find along the road. Also, no specific characters are required to continue the quest line and the options and affects of speech skills like diplomacy and bluff have been greatly elaborated on.

The game takes a different approach than most expansion packs. Instead of taking place after the previous expansion pack, Mask of the Betrayer, it starts as it's own game that takes place after the original game. It feels more like a mod than an expansion pack, given that there is no expanding on the original storyline done.

That being said, only buy Storm of Zehir if you like your games to feel unfinished. Storm of Zehir is so bugged that it is barely operational, it has poor itemization, and is a game that ends halfway through its story.

As typical with the Neverwinter Nights Series, the Camera is a nightmare to control, you will find yourself looking at a brick wall at the most crucial of moments and will therefore spend most of your time in battle with the game on pause, trying to find your characters. This may be a feature, however, given how everything else has since turned out. Something to make you quit before wasting hours of your life. The new expansion also introduces its own problems, from missing key NPCs to quests that you can not turn in, it makes you wonder if they even spent any time beta testing the game at all!

You had better hope that you are a Mage, Rogue, or nudist, because if not, this game doesn't have gear for you.

I found myself walking around with over Six Million gold and not having anything to spend it on, all the while using items that seemed to cap out at +3 enchantment levels. In the last battle one of the two bosses dropped a +3 tower shield as his reward. The game also only has two merchants that have any useful items to sell you.This game uses a new system that makes items much easier to make and enchant. The only problem is that there are no good enchants! I plundered practically every area in the game and personally found no better than a +2 enchant for a weapon or +3 for armor. You actually have to finish the game before you can go back and get a +4 armor and +3 weapon enchant. This is sad because the previous game went up to at least +5 and in mask of Betrayer it was common to see enchants upwards of +8. Even if you were fighting at a higher level, it seems odd that an expansion would end before the original version did.

The Story:
Storm of Zehir has so many problems with its story that at times it feels like someone has replaced your hamster wheel with a brick wall. Only at one point in the game did I feel like I was fighting some sort of boss, whereas usual Dungeons and Dragons games will have several. Don't count on conclusions to your storylines. The developers apparently found them unnecessary. For example, paying for and achieving the last rank in the merchant cartels offers no experience, no quests, and no recognition of any sort. You are also repeatedly told to ask certain mobs for quests when these mobs either don't exist, or never offer any sort of quest to begin with.

The biggest downfall in the story is the end of this game. After you kill the final boss you talk to the god Zehir who makes it seem like the fight was a preliminary fight to get to him and is only "one of his many schemes" Excited that you have more to do, you walk out the door to find that you can return to adventuring, only the main quest line is over, and the option to "retire from adventuring" becomes available. When you select this option the game ends and a person begins to tell a story that explains what happens to everything after the fact, all things that I could not help but feel I should have been able to play through.

This game took me about 28 hours to complete (including all side quests and wandering around aimlessly) Overall I rate the Storm of Zehir expansion pack a 65 out of 100. If you don't mind the lack of attention to detail and plot holes, this still makes for a fairly decent game. My suggestion is to wait, hopefully a patch will come out that fixes some of its numerous problems.

A Cynical Look on Twilight

Now I've never been a big fan of books where the entire plot can be summarized in three sentences, but apparently this Twilight thing is big. At least among the teenage girl horde. As such, my sister and her friends went to see it. I saw it as well, through dubiously legal means. I, as always, have an opinion. This movie was hilarious, albeit unintentionally so. I'm of conflicted mind about criticism of the plot of the movie, because a movie should follow a book. However, I will go ahead and criticize the plot anyway.

The movie centers around the idea of love at first sight. Or, in this case, smell. Now I might be cynical and jaded, but the idea of someone stalking me before I even spoke to them seems creepy. Not the least bit romantic, more like something normal people seek restraining orders for. Apparently, however, the main female protagonist finds this bit of creepy stalking romantic. Enough of strange psyches though, for there's plenty more to talk about and this post should probably be kept shorter than the Constitution.

Before anything else can be said, I must applaud the acting of the actor portraying Jasper. He personifies the vacant lost puppy that I've come to expect from the novels. Beyond him, however, the acting is approximately equal to that of your average high school production. With less enthusiasm, of course. Also, the leading man, who is supposed to run away in a particular scene, floats away instead. I can't recall that particular mistake being made before. Speaking of the leading actor, he's in that picture on the left of your screen. Look at the picture and stop writing me hate mail. Thank you.

The plot, of course, is that the superhuman vampires do a lot of infighting. Apparently, Bella is heroin for these vampires, so they are all naturally after her. Somehow, she falls in love with the one boy that nobody at the school likes. Feeling which are, of course, reciprocated, regardless of how out of character that would be. Most of the first hour of the movie was meaningless. After a long period of hilarious ignorance, Bella discovers her boyfriend is a vampire. He talks to her. A lot. It was boring. Then Bella meets his family, which seems to genuinely like her. Except for the blond, but everyone knows blonds are dumb. Then more meaningless scenes, which help even out the symmetry of worthlessness on both sides of the hour mark. Then comes a casual loop, a near death, poison-sucking from a venomous creature (a whole set of problems in and of itself), and a dance. Now these problems aren't really faults in the movie, because the book is equally dumb. They don't make for easy watching, though.

Of course, it would be remiss of me to not mention the entire conflict could have been avoided if the idiot boyfriend would simply have Turned Bella. So that makes the plot not only boring but idiotic as well. Coupled with the lack of action, adventure, romance, drama, mystery, or any other sort of remotely redeeming value, I am forced to give this movie a 35. Out of 100. If in the market for something to watch with your Twilight-obsessed girlfriend, it gets a 75. Else, avoid. Go watch C-Span. At least then you'll learn something while being bored to sleep.

Fear not, those of you who liked this movie. While I look down my nose at you, you have sequels, which will doubtless by more dreadful than this movie, to look forward to.

A Cynical Look On Chores and White House Kids.

In an interview with Barbara Walters, Obama announced that his daughters will do chores in the white house. That is just great for them, maybe they will learn some discipline or values... or something.

How does this help us?
Well, it doesn't.
What would change for America if they let someone else do their chores?
Well, not a heck of a lot.

The headlines on this are all over the internet and the newspapers. But I write not about the chores they will do, how they will do them, or why they will do them. I write because I don't care. I don't give a rats fecal matter that Obama's children make their beds, or that they do their homework. My attention is far better served elsewhere, and so I hate it when I see these kind of headlines over and over just because a bunch of morons that live on a couch watching abc news, like some kind of obsessive World of Warcraft player glued to the computer, think that they hold some kind of special significance.

This is not nearly the first time that the kids in the White House have attracted undue attention, it happens practically every term a kid is in the white house. A good example are the front page headlines over Amy Carter (President Carter's daughter) being late for school one day in the 70's. One, who cares? And two, kids are late for school all the time!

This kind of news getting that much attention is not only insulting to the media, but to all of America. Would the information be there if nobody was interested? Possibly. However, I don't think it would make the mainstream headlines.

A Cynical Look on Auto Commercials

Apparently, I can't not afford to buy a new car. How this makes sense to even the dimmest mind is a mystery that may never be solved. Do the automobile companies honestly believe that those buying their products are dimmer than an underground shed with no lights? Apparently so. Apparently, these commercials are meant to be watched with the switch for your brain set to off.

In these times, however, buying any car from a manufacturer who has a decent chance of going out of business is an iffy proposition. For when the company folds guess how much that 5 year or 50k mile warranty is good for. Perhaps mopping up a spill if you have the paperwork, because the company won't be able or willing to honor it. And when your car breaks down with no warranty and nobody producing parts for it, guess who's there to help you! Nobody, that's who.

So no only does the commercial insult your intelligence, it also manages to promise that which the company cannot be certain it is capable of providing. It's such a massive quantity of fail that I'm honestly surprised they managed to fit it into a single commercial.

As an aside, if anybody can find the commercial on youtube or something, please leave a link. I'd love to put it in this post, but have thus far been unable to find the bloody thing.

A Cynical Look on President Bush's Pardons

"Ooh dear, pardon me Sir"

Bush: "Not a Problem!"

As I came off my hiatus I was intrigued to find out Bush had handed out fourteen more pardons. I knew that he was a crook, of course, but it seems like now he isn't even trying to hide it. This brings his total count of pardons up to 171. Here is a list of the most recent fourteen:

Leslie Owen Collier of Charleston, Mo. She was convicted for unauthorized use of a pesticide and violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.- "When you're Poooising pigeons in the park..." fun song

Milton Kirk Cordes of Rapid City, S.D. Cordes was convicted of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act, which prohibits importation into the country of wildlife taken in violation of conservation laws. - Like when the Asian lady bugs escaped, but more illegal.

Richard Micheal Culpepper of Mahomet, Ill., who was convicted of false statements to the federal government. - He was pardoned for this?

Brenda Jean Dolenz-Helmer of Fort Worth, Texas, for reporting or helping cover up a crime. - Sounds like mainstream news 101 to me.

Andrew Foster Harley of Falls Church, Va. Harley was convicted of wrongful use and distribution of marijuana and cocaine. - I suppose that we will need to learn how to do it rightfully, then.

Obie Gene Helton of Rossville, Ga., whose offense was unauthorized acquisition of food stamps. - Good god, not food stamps!

Carey C. Hice Sr. of Travelers Rest, S.C., who was convicted of income tax evasion. - I want this pardon.

Geneva Yvonne Hogg of Jacksonville, Fla., convicted of bank embezzlement. - Hopefully no longer has a job there

William Hoyle McCright Jr. of Midland, Texas, who was sentenced for making false entries, books, reports or statements to a bank. - I own the moon, want to buy it?

Paul Julian McCurdy of Sulphur, Okla., who was sentenced for misapplication of bank funds. - If you give your money to us, we'll all take a trip to Hawaii!

Robert Earl Mohon Jr. of Grant, Ala., who was convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. - Just like the grocery store conspires to sell us bread!

Donald Alan Mohrhoff of Los Angeles, who was convicted for unlawful use of a telephone in a narcotics felony. - Unlawful use of a phone? That's funny on its own!

Daniel Figh Pue III of Conroe, Texas, convicted of illegal treatment, storage and disposal of a hazardous waste without a permit.- You need a license for that toenail collection Mr.

Orion Lynn Vick of White Hall, Ark., who was convicted of aiding and abetting the theft of government property.- Next stop, the Presidential seal!

Although I congratulate President Bush for pardoning some drug charges that in my opinion should not be against the law (There will be a post on that later) What exactly warrants a presidential pardon? I certainly don't see any hostage situations or rebellions listed. Why is it that these seemingly random people deserve to be forgiven for their crimes when other, much less serious crimes, are "Punished to the fullest extent of the law"

The Presidential Pardon was not intended to be used in this manner. The Founding fathers envisioned the pardon as having a narrow purpose in times of war and rebellion. The president might offer pardons to rebellious factions as an inducement for a laying down of arms and national reconciliation. This point is made by Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers.

The most interesting cases, I found, were the bank embezzlement and lying to the fed cases. It is very suspicious that Bush would cover for someone that was lying to the federal government. Even though the press seems to hate Bush adamantly, this has not gotten very much media attention. Also, why exactly do you give a pardon to someone who was embezzling from a bank, especially with all of the attention on the economy?

All of these suspicions seem to remain unanswered, and the President's power to pardon crimes, including his own, is absolute and cannot be overruled.

This is just yet another case of the cynical hypocrisy of Washington. "Do as I say, not as I do"

A Cynical Look On our Hiatus

Hiatus: a break or interruption in the continuity of a work, series, action, etc.

The bad part about when we go on hiatus is that nothing gets done. You don't get any witty articles; we don't make fun of Obama and Bush; you don't scoff at our writing; we don't cry about economic doom. Tests, quizzes, and term papers: only that kind of thing gets done. But, that kind of thing is not interesting. And so, you will wait until we feel like letting you out of the corner.

A Cynical Look at the GOP

Today I'm changing gears fast enough to destroy every transmission in a hundred mile radius. For today, all you who think I'm a conservative Republican are in for a surprise. Today, I'm taking a cynical look at the current state of the GOP. From what McCain and Palin have shown recently, there's plenty to be cynical about, and it would be remiss of me to ignore such easy pickings.

The cynicism starts with a look at the failed presidential candidate John McCain. Now while this election year would be tough for any republican, with Bush dragging any ticket down into the abyss regardless of who is on said ticket, McCain's spectacular failure is still most impressive. McCain, a self-proclaimed maverick, managed not only to bore, but also to make some of the most disastrous campaign decisions of any era. McCain's consistent dismissal of his own party will now likely hurt him, for you can call your friend an idiot only if you win. McCain's surprisingly poor campaign also managed to seem technologically inept compared to his opponent. No one can forget his amazing quote, "The fundamentals of the economy are strong." Perhaps McCain couldn't have won regardless of what he did, but after he managed to make his poor campaign look worse, he had no chance.

The past is the past, however, and the future of the Republican party looks much better. If, of course, you're looking at a different Republican party. The one I'm looking at looks doomed. What kind of party looks towards a politician who couldn't be bothered to find out what the Bush doctrine was, who reportedly didn't know Africa was a continent, and who believes foreign policy experience can be gained from living near another country? A doomed party, that's what kind of party does that. While some find Republicans to be the better of two evils, the current state of the party must be causing reconsideration of that stand. Even the rats abandon a sinking ship, and the GOP certainly looks to be going down.

The GOP, perhaps, is doomed by the poor policy choices they've made. For tax cuts, which invariably are spun as "tax cuts for the wealthy," have lost popularity faster than Pet Rocks. For an uninhibited market is oft considered to be a massive problem. For simply being in the same political party as Bush. The GOP is looking bad right now, and a cynical conclusion is that this is just the start of the storm.
As always, if I've missed anything, am blatantly wrong, or seem to have a bias of some kind, feel free to leave a comment.

A Cynical Look on Ethanol

Corn: a delicious vegetable, but also a useful one. Corn is used to make a variety of 0ther products such as chips, soda, cereal, candy, and if you want it can even be distilled into an alcoholic beverage called moonshine. There is one thing, however, that corn should never be used for: ethanol.

Ethanol is held in high regards as the "savior" of our dependence on foreign Oil. We see commercials on it everywhere, showered in politician's unconditional love. Barack Obama, Nanci Pelosi, and even John McCain are big fans of ethanol from corn.
This affects you! Have a car? Most gas stations (At least every one that I have been to in the past year) have 5%-10% ethanol mixed in with the gasoline. Chances are, unless you use diesel, you have ethanol in your tank. However, there are several myths about ethanol that you should be made aware of.

-Ethanol is better,"green" choice for the environment than Oil

Not only is there no real evidence that ethanol reduces carbon emissions, and apparently global warming, compared to oil, but there is substantial evidence to the contrary.

-Ethanol is worth the cost because it reduces our dependence on foreign oil.
The massive increase the production of ethanol causes in the price of food like corn and soy is a far greater cost than the amount we could reduce the cost of oil by producing ethanol.

-Ethanol is just as good as gasoline for your car
Although ethanol can clean out old "gunk" in a car, the mileage per gallon is greatly reduced in gasoline vs oil.

Watch THIS video

I will finish this post later on.

A Cynical Look on Universal Healthcare Part 4

Now I'm sure that there are still people unaware of how Universal Health Care can negatively impact them. They may be unaffected, through some strange coincidence, by the problems already outlined. No one, however, is unaffected by the cost of health care.

In a socialistic health care system, those who go to the doctor less are more heavily penalized, proportionally, than those who go to the doctor more. In a socialistic health care system with progressive taxes the rich are heavily penalized for having money, unless they go to the doctor, at current American tax rates, 36% more than those who live on the streets. Obviously, those living on the streets have more medical issues than those who can afford balanced diets and preventive medicines. Thus the rich, as a whole, would be paying a much larger fee per doctor or hospital visit than those who literally do nothing. (Who actually profit from visiting the doctor, for health care is worth more than nothing, and they would pay nothing to get it.)

The rich deserve to pay more, you may say. If that is your thought, I obviously cannot dissuade you from it. However, the rich also tend to desire their money's worth from what they spend money on. Alienating the people providing the money that allows programs to run may not be a good idea. Remember, you can add a lot of weight to the rich man's back, but one straw too many and he's gone forever.

However, the rich alone cannot provide enough money for everyone. Especially with the super rich simply hiring more lawyers, and finding more loopholes to stash their vast incomes away in. Thus, everyone pays more to the government for their health care regardless of how often they use it. Make it through a full year without any illnesses? Good for you, you pay the same as Sniffly Bobby, the coworker who was sick 167 days this past year. If you find that fair, I would love to hear your explanation in the comments.

Related Reading:
Article: Paying The Price For Drugs In Europe
Article: Entitlement programs eating up U.S. budget

Economic Implications of Health Care:
A Free Market for Health Care
Nationalized Health Care Will Cut Costs? It Just ain't so!

A Cynical Look on Universal Healthcare Part 3

Ahh, Veterans Day: the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. Which was followed by the ridiculous terms of loss given to Germany that, ironically, caused World War II.

Anyway, today we continue on to the third section of our gigantic bit on Universal Health Care (UHC). If all of the problems we already discussed were not enough to sway you from the support of UHC, there are still more you need to know.

Universal Health Care causes scarcity in health equipment. In fact, compared to Canada, the US has more than twice as many open heart surgery centers per million people, more than three times as many MRI units per million people, more than four times as many Lithotripsy units per million people, almost twice as many CT scanning centers per million people, and more than twice as many cardiac catheterization centers per million people.

Why is this? Well, there is no competition in the health care market. Why would your firm spend extra money to get some of this technology when either way you have a full list of patients? Well, you wouldn't! These machines are very expensive, so there is no incentive to buy them.

In America, you can find this type of technology fairly readily as it stands. When one purchases this equipment in the United States, most can expect to make the money they spend back by charging for the equipment's use. This creates an economically feasible reason to actually obtain this equipment from the standpoint of a health specialist. However, if we moved to a Universal Health Care system, we can expect to have the same problems with scarcity that we see in other countries that have already adopted this system.

A Cynical Look on Universal Healthcare Part 2

Universal Health Care (UHC), or socialized health care, some may say, is viable. They could point to countries like Canada and Sweden. I, however, must say that it isn't viable at all. I'm going to use countries like Canada and Sweden, mostly Canada, to disprove the myth that UHC can work.

Yes, I realize that it is possible to opt out of public care. My post is on public care, however, because that is what is recognized as UHC.

In both those countries the wait for medical procedures is far too long for real emergency surgeries, like removing a potentially deadly brain tumor. This wait is prohibitive because UHC guarantees health care to everyone. Since the health care guarantee is there, people can go to doctors for everything from a stubbed toe to a runny nose. Obviously all this essentially meaningless work for the doctors ensures a longer wait for those who actually have problems. Waiting for a potentially deadly illness to be diagnosed because Timmy has a runny nose is something that nobody desires, but UHC promotes.

Canadian health care has a fundamental, to steal Barack Obama's favorite word, problem. Everyone gets health care. That, you may say, is a good thing. It's not. If everyone gets health care, then there must be enough supply to satisfy everyone. There is the problem. The demand is infinite, while the supply is not. Therefore there are dangerous waits, sub-optimal access, and an overarching lack of competition, which causes lack of development. While Canadians enjoy care, they get to wait for it.

Canadians also do not have access to the best doctors in the world in their health care system. The system inherently encourages the best doctors, surgeons, nurses, janitors, and everyone with any possibility to make more money elsewhere, to leave. Therefore, Canadians enjoy mediocre health care with long waits. Do the the fact that a system which forces some people to wait over a year for surgeries, has understaffed emergency rooms leaving patients lying on gurneys, and has doctors and patients opting out of it. It's easy to cynically conclude that Canada does not, in fact, have a great health care system.

A Cynical Look on Universal Healthcare Part 1

Universal Health Care: a topic on the tongues of every politician. Without careful analysis, it seems like a good idea. After all, countries that have socialized Health Care seem to have a longer average life span.
However, there are many issues that arise with socialized Health Care, taxes aside, though taxes and Healthcare will be covered at a later date.
For one, most countries that currently use these systems rely on American's current competitive environment to supply them with the health care technology they need at a feasible price. Sweden, for example, relies very heavily upon the American competitive health care system.

"Where does the health care technology come from that the Swedish hospitals use? Where do the drugs and the medicines come from? Well all of it is, really, invented in the American competitive health care system."
- Johan Norberg, Swedish author of In Defense of Global Capitalism in an interview with Reason.tv
He goes on to beg America not to implement any sort of socialized health care system.

The issue of countries with socialized health care relying on the U.S. is further detailed in this article: Will Socialized Health Care in the US Kill Canadians?

Socialized Health Care guarantees health care providers that meet a certain criteria an inflow of customers. Because there is no competition, providers have no reason to develop better health care technology. The lack of competition also reduces the quality of the the health care. If you had to have your brain operated on, would you pay more for someone who has never done an operation? Or would you pay more for the best neurosurgeon in the country? Under socialized health care you don't get a choice, and the best neurosurgeon will never be available because the pay does not meet his costs.

Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers, was also against socialized health care. He even predicted it before his time. "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Unfortunately nowadays, a lot more than health care meets this category.

Because universal health care vs private health care is such a large topic, I will continue this blog post on a later date.

A Cynical Look on Welfare

Welfare, a system where money is given to the needy, is a valiant effort to help those in need. It is, unfortunately, an impossible system. For who decides whether the homeless veteran or single mother is more needy? The government, of course! While nearly everyone can agree that some situations offer impossible choices, the government is always there to provide solutions. Horrible misguided solutions that often create a problem bigger than the original one, but solutions nonetheless. Now that the purpose and reason of existence for welfare have been outlined in a manner quick and brutal enough to make Genghis Khan wince, I'll outline the problems that make welfare worse than no help at all.

Welfare encourages continuing to receive money for doing nothing. Why work for minimum wage when you can get a comparable amount of money for doing absolutely nothing? Why try to climb the corporate ladder when that would take work? Why advance yourself when the government is making sure you'll be fine either way? The answer to all of these questions vary depending on who you ask, but the fact that they are serious questions at all is the problem with welfare. Not to mention the drain welfare puts on the government and economy, nor the fact that it's a step towards socialism.

Welfare encourages complacency. It's a well intentioned misguided program. The people who can work obviously shouldn't be on welfare, yet there are literally millions of people on welfare at any given time. The myth that single mothers are the majority of people on welfare, is, of course, false. The fact is that many people from every race and parenting statistic can be found on welfare, and obviously not all of them are unable to work. Those unable to work should be aided, those capable of working shouldn't be. Why reward laziness with your tax dollars?

A Cynical look on the Press Conference

The market has suffered violent and volatile movement over the past few days. The first two days after the election, the DOW lost an entire 10%.
Today, Obama had his first press conference as the President-Elect. During this time the market was in free fall as he talked about more bailouts for dried up, bureaucratic companies and more handouts or stimulus packages at the cost of the taxpayer. One sentence he uttered changed all of this however.

"I think that the plan that we've put forward is the right one, but obviously over the next several weeks and months, we're going to be continuing to take a look at the data and see what's taking place in the economy as a whole."

As commented upon by CNBC news reporters, many hope that this means he will hold off on raising the capital gains, as well as other taxes, for a time. The mere hope that Obama might not raise taxes the second he steps in office not only reversed the direction of the market, but sent up the DOW to positive territory to close at +248.02 8943.81. Obviously, this show us a very proportional correlation between market direction and taxes,but it also lets us know what direction we are going in as a whole. Although people hope he will not raise the taxes, he most certainly will. Higher taxes on the wealthy was one of the key points of his agenda.

The Bush administration promised a smaller government, and instead what we got was a vast increase in government spending. These failures have been so great that we have been wallowing around in our own wasteful spending for quite some time.

So we have finally gotten "The Change We Need"
In other words, we have replaced our dirty diaper with a new one. Maybe what we really need is to grow up and start using the toilet.

Note: Copy of full speech transcript in comments.

A Cynical Look on Taxes

Well, now Obama has been elected, and the super rich can look forward to paying more for doing their jobs well. Obviously success should be punished, and failure should be rewarded. Of course here in America, we can justify it by claiming, as most progressive tax supporters do, that the rich "get more from the government." Everyone knows that the government provides those private schools, security guards, lawyers, electricity, water, and employees. Since obviously this isn't true, why should being a success be punished?
This is America, where the competent few are outmatched by the incompetent many. Welcome to a representative republic, everyone. Don't be more successful than everyone else, or they'll simply vote to give your success to them.

A Brief Cynical Look at the Economic Condition After the Election

Remember remember the 5th of November...

Today I will focus on the immediate economic implications of the election.
To the surprise of many Obama supporters, and especially to the media which seemed to ignore the connection, the DOW closed 486.01 lower to rest at 9,139.27. Influenced almost entirely by the election, which is evidenced by the inactivity of the past couple days leading up to the election, the market lost an entire 5.05% of it's value.

Oddly enough, even many Eco-friendly businesses that would benefit from an Obama presidency in the form of subsidies took a dive in stock price:

Evergreen Solar, Inc. NYSE: ESLR 4.39 -.90(-17.01%)

SunPower Corporation NYSE: SPWRA 32.99 -17.51(-34.67%)

Solarfun Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (ADR) NYSE: SOLF 7.36 -1.59(-17.77%)

Based on simple economic principals, it would make sense that the market did not like Obama winning the election.

-Raising Taxes In general,harms the Economy.(As agreed on by at least 95% of Economists)

-Capital Gains Tax (It was shown during the Clinton Administration, when the capital gains tax was lowered, that the Capital gains tax has such an impact on how much people invest that when this tax is raised the government actually takes in LESS money. So in addition to harming the economy, the government takes in less in tax revenues: A lose, lose situation)

-Income Tax (Biggest Increments on the Highest Tax brackets)
-Dividend Tax
-Inheritance Tax (I hope you weren't hoping of leaving anything for your family)

Although some liberal media would like to tell you differently, Obama is in favor of the largest tax increases in history since the birth of the income tax. The capital gains tax, income tax, dividend tax, and the inheritance tax are all on his agenda for large hikes. In addition, he would like to propose a few taxes we never had before:
-Extra taxes on any home over 2400 Sq ft.
-New gasoline taxes (this will make gas more expensive)
-New taxes on other natural resource consumption (Heating, Electricity, ect.)
-New taxes on retirement accounts
-Social Medicare Taxes

Based on this, we can cynically conclude that the stock market is in for hard times.

A Cynical Look on the election

Today, America has made a great step in some direction. Where that direction is, many people seem to be confused about. I'm going to take this opportunity to help these poor people clear this confusion up.
One: Obama was elected.
Two: Obama has socialist tendencies.
And therefore, Three: America has elected a man with socialist tendencies.
With these things, it's easy to tell that socialism is on the rise in America. And socialism is going to cause me to actually have money, even though I have the drive of a Lamborghini with all the parts removed. Thank you, everyone who is going to do work to supply me with my unearned money, I love you all.
You might say hey, that isn't fair, and you might be right. It's cynical, and if you don't like cynicism, you may be reading the wrong blog.

McCain has an amazingly well written concession speech for a man who a week ago predicted certain victory. It's like he didn't believe the amazing quantities of worthlessness that came out of his mouth. Though he somehow managed to take more than three minutes to say, "I lost, you're all f'd, Obama is going to doom this country." in a politicians way.

Now for two cynical predictions.
America will drift away from the capitalistic tendencies that have made this country great.
Obama will be a president that helps provide me far more to be cynical about.