• My Tweats

    • Flickr Photos

    I Watch this and think…send in the National Guard…

    …and clear out all of the grounds of the Leftists and throw in jail any who resist or do not comply.

     

     

    Fucking Leftists. I am embarrassed for my home state of Wisconsin.

    We shouldn’t pretend the Left and their activist vanguard and their willing public union dupes are just practicing democracy. They are at their very core anti-democratic. They are the problem.

    Enough is enough.

    Crush them.

    Bust their Unions.

    Sue their orgs and individuals for damages. Lawfare, fuck yeah. Bankrupt them.

    Impeach the WI Dem Senators who have fled the state.

    Recall any republican legislator who caves.

    Fuck them.

    Video Link HT

    “You’re the dullest audience I’ve ever spoken to”

    Fuck you stupid-ass Joe Biden, Fuck you.

    Toward Nothing

    Lack of Money is NOT the problem with the Milwaukee Public School System

    MPS is failing its customers (the students, the taxpayers and the community). It is NOT because of a lack of money.

    I took a stab at the money issues in a comment at the Fraud Files Blog. The author of Fraud Files (a Forensic Accountant) cleaned it up and improved upon the point I was trying to make with the post:

    I don’t think taxpayers have any idea what wasteful spending MPS does. One reader of this blog broke it down in the comments of another article on this site. I’m going to refine those numbers a little. MPS is going to have 80,228 students next year. Assuming 30 students per classroom, that gives us 2,674 classrooms. With the MPS budget of over $1.3 billion, that’s spends over $490,000 per classroom. How could $490,000 be spent? Keeping teacher compensation at the current outrageous $100,000, that leaves $390,000 to spend on all the other needs for the students:

        * Books – $10,000 per classroom
        * Breakfast and lunch for all children – $50,000 (and that would spend $9.25 per child per day, which is far more than necessary)
        * Computer for each child – $30,000
        * School supplies for each child and classroom needs – $15,000 (way more than necessary, but work with me on this)
        * Renting a classroom with utilities and internet – $60,000 (way more than necessary again, but I’m just playing it safe)
        * Transportation? Nope. This is an urban area. Classrooms will be in walking distance for everyone! No more buses. Wheeee!

    This still leaves $225,000 unspent. This is an astronomical amount, and all needs have been filled for all children in this classroom. Let’s think about other expenses:

        * We need some administration to take care of paperwork. One person at $100,000 (includes salary and benefits) should be able to oversee at least 5 classrooms, don’t you think? That’s $20,000 per classroom on the administrator.
        * Maybe we need secretarial help as well. Let’s say one person at $50,000 (includes salary and benefits) for every 5 classrooms. That’s $10,000 per classroom.
        * How about a library and some musical instruments? Let’s say that for every 5 classrooms, we need to spend $100,000 per year for those needs.  That’s $20,000 per classroom.
        * Of course we need equipment for some physical education too. How about $50,000 per year for 5 classrooms. That should buy quite a bit of equipment, don’t you think? That’s $10,000 per classroom.
        * The kids also need some fully funded field trips. How about if we give each classroom $20,000 to spend on field trips each year? That ought to buy some very nice outings

    This is an additional $80,000 per classroom spent on all the extras, leaving us with $145,000 unspent per classroom. There will be “special needs” children in the district who need additional care, supervision, and resources. But guess what? I’ve got $145,000 left over per classroom, and 2,733 classrooms…. which means almost $388 million district-wide is our surplus even after using the outrageously high spending estimates above. I’ve factored in plenty of spending that isn’t necessary and is likely well beyond what would be needed for each classroom.

    This simple exercise makes it painfully clear how bad MPS is wasting taxpayer money. It’s time to force the administrators to get their heads out of their asses and start doing right by the taxpayers and the students. Quit wasting our money on a system that doesn’t educate children. MPS is broken. Time to fix it.

    Its NOT about a lack of the money.

    I am thinking something like my vouchers-and-charter-schools-for-everybody plan is NOT the right answer either. MY plan is really Grade 9-12 alternative idea. MPS has failed its students before they ever enter High School.

    If large number of students are hitting high school with 2 grade reading levels, 2nd grade math levels and with no sense how to properly behave themselves, the problem is with K-6 at MPS. By the time those students enter 9th grade they are – sad to say- a lost cause under the current system. Why

    A better plan would be to do something like:

    -The entire way that education services are delivered in Milwaukee must be changed. We get too little for too much money. The MPS Leaderships (Schools Board and Administrators) have shown themselves to be incompetent.
    – For K-6-ish: emphasize reading, writing, arithmetic and personal behavior at the grade school level. Test early and often to find students falling short; provide remedial opportunities
    – For 7-12, have separate parallel Grade 7-12 tracks. Put those falling short in reading, writing, arithmetic and personal behavior into an alternate system. For those not falling short, consider my 21st century ED plan.
    -There should most likely be mass firings of the current K-6 teachers and administrators. Most are not competent. The student reading and math numbers speak for themselves.

    Badger Pride: On Wisconsin (The Hip-Hop remix)

    (old found draft post) Fixing Milwaukee Notes – Notes from 9/7 Sunday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Sep 11, 2008 @ 16:08

    My “Fixing Milwaukee” post are on hiatus. The problem is real big, I am a bit discouraged at the moment. I am not sure of the next steps.

    Reference Definition: Institutions

    Definitions Matter. For future reference, I will use the definition for “Institutions”

    “Institutions are the humanly devised constraints that structure human interaction. They are made up of formal constraints (rules, laws, constitutions), informal constraints (norms of behavior, conventions, and self imposed codes of conduct), and their enforcement characteristics.” [Ref: Douglass C. North Nobel Lecture]

    http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1993/north-lecture.html ]

    http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1993/north-lecture.html

    Fixing Milwaukee Notes – Problem/Solutions Dimensions

    • Institutions
    • Culture
    • Attitudes
    • leadership
    • incentives
    • focus
    • public relations
    • security
    • human capital
    • demographics
    • natural resources
    • business

    entrepreneurship
    wealth and capital
    regulatory laws, zoning
    governmentsal relations
    eva
    infrastructure
    swot
    http://isc.sans.org/diary.html?storyid=4939
    metrics

    Thoughts on the upcoming Green Bay Packers Season

    I usually don’t watch any pre-season games, but I will be watching tonight’s Packer games.

    This is going to be a challenging season for the packers.

    IMHO, there are three big issues for the packers:

    1) Defense: How will the defense adjust to using primarily a 3-4? There is a lot of “fingertip feel” that the defense is going to have to build up and throughout the season to be successful since football is a game of seconds and inches.

    2) Kicking: Will punting suck again? Will field-goal kicking be subpar? Punting and place kicking were so poor last season, it was like giving the other side an additional first down conversion each series. Also, do the packers have the capability top win games with last second field goals? It remains to be seen.

    3) Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers proved he was smart enough and physical enough to be a starting pro football quarterback. He showed grace with the whole Favre distraction. What Rodgers did not show is if he is a clutch playmaker or not. The packer offense had a dearth of successful late game drives. It may have been do to a sum of factors. It maybe be that Rodgers doesn’t have “it”. We will know by the end of the season for sure, one way or another.

    Green Bay Packers - logo

    Les Paul, RIP

    Goodbye to the Wizard from Waukesha:

    “Milwaukee County headed for huge deficits, study says” (Fixing Milwaukee series)

    As reported in JSOnline.com:

    Despite repeated warnings, Milwaukee County has failed to fix deep-rooted budget problems that could blow up in a few years, says a study by the nonpartisan Public Policy Forum released Tuesday.

    The county’s long-term solvency may require state or other intervention unless Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and the County Board cooperate on a long-term plan to stabilize county finances, the forum report warns.

    In short, the county’s “long-term fiscal outlook is grim,” the report says. The county’s own figures show a widening revenue gap that could reach about $88 million by 2013 despite years of budget cutting, the report says.
    […]
    The fringe benefit costs for county workers and retirees grew by 71%, or $73 million, from 2003 to 2007, the period the study analyzed.

    My guess is that Milwaukee County will be forced to declare bankruptcy by 2018 if they keep doing/acting/leading like they have been.

    “Nearly one-fifth of local streets – 193 miles – are now beyond their intended life spans, some by as many as 60 years.” (Fixing Milwaukee)

    An interesting Milwaukee Journal report documented that Milwaukee CityGov can’t even manage the basic of street repair:

    But decaying roads can be found throughout the city’s 1,025-mile network – from the inner city to more affluent neighborhoods.

    The analysis also shows:

    • More than half of city streets have gone four decades or more without repaving. About 97 miles of streets haven’t been repaved since the Great Depression.

    • Nearly one-fifth of local streets – 193 miles – are now beyond their intended life spans, some by as many as 60 years.

    • Ald. Robert Puente’s 9th District to the west of Brown Deer contains the bumpiest roads. Ald. Jim Bohl’s 5th District, where Timmerman Airport is located, ranks second-lowest.

    City auditors have criticized the Public Works Department for failing to use its high-priced pavement-quality database as it was designed – to prioritize resurfacing projects and determine street maintenance

    Instead, the department has relied on different road repaving and maintenance databases and lacks a clear strategy for planning road projects, auditors found.

    The pavement-quality database shows that about one-fifth of all city streets are in poor condition and need reconstruction. It could take crews 36 years to replace just those streets, according to the city comptroller’s office.

    The CityGov isn’t very competent (none are in fear of loosing their jobs though):

    With its patchwork system of infrastructure databases, the city Public Works Department lacks a uniform system for planning road reconstruction projects, the city comptroller’s office found.

    City records show the department has spent more than $500,000 since 1995 for its pavement management system, intended as a tool to forecast annual paving needs based on street conditions.

    Public Works officials say they use the database for long-term planning and budgeting of paving projects.

    But none of the engineering or construction sections in Public Works uses the pavement management database as its primary data source.

    When the city comptroller audited the department in December, it faulted Public Works for not relying on the database to determine street maintenance and repaving work. The audit also found that the system of tracking road repair and maintenance in the past has been plagued with inefficiencies.

    The department maintains multiple data sources, resulting in “redundant data and a lack of data integration,” according to the audit. In 2004, Public Works reported that it maintained 22 infrastructure databases and four manual files.

    If they can’t handle streets (basic city gov responsibilities), it is silly to assume they can handle more complex activities.

    Wisconsin’s New Brand Logo is…”Live Like You Mean It”

    Jeez.

    They might as well has chosen:

    – “Beyond Cheese”

    – “The taxes are not quite as high as you think. Really.”

    – “More Lakes then Minnesota and without the funny accents”

    – “We suck less then Michigan”

    – “The Clean-Air Suburb of Chicago”

    “Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, told Press Wednesday that the Fairness Doctrine is needed not to remove any conservative voices, but to ensure that there are a few liberal shows on the air.”

    When I hear stuff like this, I wonder why is NPR (the dominate FM talk radio network that is Liberal/Leftist mostly – and on the public dole) ignored? How about Wisconsin Public Radio? It is liberal to leftist and I presume the other state Public Radios are as well.

    I presume since NPR and the others are not mentioned, that this is not really about “fairness” but is instead about stifling political speech that the Left and its useful idiots are opposed too.

    So I can use this as a test.

    If you are for the fairness doctrine (and therefore against liberty and free speech), then I am against you.

    Note: I don’t listen to AM talk radio. I listen to NPR and to WPR. Does this surprise you? If so read this.

    Update: Bill Clinton want the Fairness Doctrine too (noted by HotAir).

    Update: Via Hot Air, listen Megyn Kelly slap down Liberal talk show host Bill Press.  He clearly against conservative AM radio. He does not want NPR to be covered. He also ignores the market failures of Liberal talk radio. I have liked Press when have seen him before, but he comes off as a tool here.

    More Wasted Taxpayers Money and a Culture of Corruption (Fixing Milwaukee)

    Sigh:

    When the County Board set up the Task Force on Work Reform for Men more than a year ago, it was pitched as a low-cost effort to find jobs for out-of-work African-Americans and Hispanics.

    Who can argue with that?

    But the biggest job the task force has created so far is a $248,000 consulting gig for a previously unemployed political type.

    Under a no-bid contract, Gerard Randall is pulling down $12,000 a month from the county tax levy to offer advice to the task force headed by Supervisor Elizabeth Coggs.

    […]

    But Randall was in no mood for talking last week.

    Asked via cell phone if he could discuss his contract for a few minutes, he replied, “No, I can’t.”

    No Quarter then visited Randall’s shop Friday afternoon in the offices of public relations firm Zigman Joseph Stephenson at the swanky Renaissance Building, 309 N. Water St. Randall was nowhere to be found.

    Coggs, the chairwoman of the task force, did not return calls.

    In mid-2007, Randall was pushed out of his $154,000-per-year job running the Private Industry Council, a position he had held for nearly a decade. He was kept on for nearly six months at the largely government-funded agency to help his successor with the transition.

    Somehow this guy has found a permanent place on the public dole.

    If he is connected to the “Coggs” family that might explain it. They seem to pop up all over Milwaukee politics in elected office over an over again – without actually  providing positive results. Maybe I shouldn’t be to harsh on them, its not like any local politician  (City Common Council, Country  Board, School board, Congresswoman Moore) have anything to brag about given the sorry state of things.

    How should Milwaukee be fixed? A starting point could be: cut the overt graff, and cut the pork.

    Creative Destruction Example in Milwaukee

    The local Schwartz’s bookseller chain just died (it couldn’t compete with B&N in the fleshspace, or Amazon.com in cyberspace), but its 800-CEO-READ:

    At a time when independent, bricks-and-mortar general bookstores all over are closing, 800-CEO-READ is an independent that’s thriving. With just 15 employees and 3,000 square feet in a renovated office building in the Third Ward, it has not only successfully held its own against Internet and large-chain booksellers but has also carved a spot for itself as one of the nation’s premier sellers and arbiters of what is best in business literature.

    Today it further secures its reputation as the tastemaker. Covert, the founder and chief mentor of 800-CEO-READ, and Todd Sattersten, the company’s new president, are coming out with their first book, “The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter, and How They Can Help You” ($25.95).

    I used to go to Schwartz’s all the time. It wasn’t as good a the University Bookstore, but it was some much better then the old bookseller chains. Then I discovered Borders (I would drive to Madison) and Barnes & Noble (I would go down to Chicago), and the wonderfully online Amazon.com.

    Capitalism‘s Creative Destruction works. We are all better for it. Death to Zombies.

    “For the past five months, Amanda’s Medicaid payments have been delayed because of problems at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services”

    It is being blamed on the computer system:

    Officials within the state agency acknowledge they’ve had trouble with a new $64.2 million computer system that handles Medicaid services. Glitches with the automated system caused a backlog of claims, preventing the state from processing some prior authorizations for therapies and medical equipment.

    The agency has been unable to process about 10% of its claims for prior authorization within the 20-day time period required under state law. Some requests have taken four times longer to be approved.

    As a result, about 2,500 people who use Medicaid have been left wondering when, or if, they’ll get approval for things such as physical therapy, a new wheelchair or leg braces to help them walk.

    I don’t know anything about how this system was designed, programmed and deployed.

    I do wonder if it was contractors or State IT workers doing the project.

    When I was getting near to graduating from College many years ago, the economy wasn’t so great. Just to be safe, I took some State IT civil service exam. A big part of the exam was on programming in COBOL. COBOL is a business programming language used almost exclusively on IBM mainframe computers. I was a a CompSci major programming mostly in C (also Pascal, assembly, Fortran, Lisp, Common Lisp, and ProLog).We didn’t go near COBOL. 

    My Cobol knowledge came from flipping through a roomate’s girlfriend’s Cobol book the night before the exam while talking and watching TV.

    I ended up second or third on the State list. I never took a state job and  I went to work doing IT for a defense contractor in what turned out to be an ideal environment for a first job.

    Let me say, I was a very good programmer.

    However, if I can place really high up on a State list for programming in language I know nothing about (to this day I have never even logged into a Mainframe), what does that say about the quality of the State IT programmers?

    Grace Hopper – Navy Chick and a major mover behind COBOL

    “County Executive Scott Walker and other county officials hope to reap significant savings by issuing the pension debt at about 6% and investing the earnings at 8%” (Fixing Milwaukee)

    What idiocy!

    So who will get fucked on the most on this?

    1) The taxpayers who stick around  and will have to pony up in increased taxes and reduced services to cover this action which is sure to fail?

    …or…

    2) The larger pool of creditors, retirees, and taxpayers when the county declares bankruptcy in 10 years?

    This Cow Photo at Reason is Freaky.

    Here is where I saw it.

    Even as a Wisconsinite, it is a bit freaky to me. Also, a bit sexy.

    Fixing Milwaukee Note: Buh Bye Milwaukee School Board Idiotarian Hardinh

    She corrupt. She’s an Idiot. And now soon she’ll be gone.

    The lack of nine valid signatures appeared Thursday to have brought an end to Charlene Hardin’s controversial, 12-year career on the Milwaukee School Board.

    “This letter is to formally notify you that your nomination papers did not include 400 valid signatures required to have your name placed on the ballot,” Susan Edman, executive director of the city Election Commission, wrote to Hardin.

    The election rule is simple: No 400 signatures, no chance (except possibly a write-in campaign) to win another four-year term this spring. [JSOnline Link]

    Good thing too. The residents of Milwaukee would have most likely re-elected her.

    Green Bay Packer Mason’s Crosby’s 69 Yard Free Kick try from 12/28

    It was still pretty nifty!

    Kohl’s caught screwing with its customers…

    here.

    It only takes little actions like this that become widely known to destroy consumer confidence in a store chain, in a brand. Consumer can and will vote with there and take there money elsewhere.

    If this is an isolated issue, Kohl’s should very publicly fire the management of that store.

    If it is not isolated, that is, if it turns out to chain-wide, the board needs to dump the top execs publicly before this turns into a long-term profit-busting fiasco.

    “…the Milwaukee Police Department will get the new uniform style it wants, but it could come at a significant price…a 33% premium” (Fixing Milwaukee)

    The Milwaukee Police are rightfully switching to modern uniforms:

    Nothing is done simply by Milwaukee’s inept municipal bureaucrats though:

    The only supplier that made City Hall’s first cut, Goldfish Uniforms, submitted the highest-cost bid by $340,000, a 33% premium compared with one of its main competitors, city records show.

    Goldfish, for example, would charge the city $72 for each pair of navy-blue uniform pants, compared with the $53 or $59 bid by two competitors. The contract calls for 9,000 pairs over several years.

    Why would the bureaucrats choose the high cost supplier?

    The apparent low bidder, current supplier Badger Uniforms, was disqualified along with another contender, Lark Uniform. They did not propose a subcontract with a disadvantaged business, as required by the city, purchasing officials said.

    Oh shit, here we go.

    So Goldfish is a new business? Nope:

    Goldfish, a century-old local company, is a city-certified “emerging business enterprise” deemed financially disadvantaged.

    What makes them disadvantaged?

    City officials say they cannot specify how any particular certified business meets the program’s criteria, due to privacy concerns. A company official declined to shed light on the certification, but said Goldfish already has customers larger than the Milwaukee Police Department and could handle the job.

    So Milwaukee taxpayers will shell out more then needed so some murky bureaucratic regulation can be met. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    Winter F*cking Wonderland

    Its is icky outside today in the Milwaukee area.

    Lots of snow. Lots. Frack the snow.

    I didn’t bring my camera for this blizzard, so no photos.

    It took me 40 minutes to go the four blocks from my apartment to a main road. I got stopped by a car that was spinning its wheels and couldn’t go forward onto the cross street.

    The person didn’t bother to turn on her hazards. The cars started to pile up behind me. The other lane was unpassable. I got out of my car to speak to the driver.

    She was young and cute. Even in a blizzard it looked like she spent lots of time “perfecting” exactly how her jacket was put on. She was driving her new car from daddy and didn’t know how to turn on the hazzards. I looked and couldn’t find it either.

    She couldn’t move forward. So, I put on my hazzads and when in reverse back down the hill (as the other cars had done by now). I didn’t offer to push her car forward because it took three young guys to push out a different car and I didn’t have much confidence in my ability to do so without killing my back.

    We took a different (flatter) way to a large/busy cross street. We were stopped there as the street plows had made it impassable. A few guys way in the front of the car queue shoveled out enough, and we could all make it out after awhile.

    I normally have a 15 minute drive to work. I left 15 minutes early this morning. It took me 1hr and 40 minutes to get in.

    Yuck.

    I wish my street had looked this good this morning!

    Milwaukee Journal Photo from this JSOnline Gallery
    http://media.jsonline.com/images/578*400/snow19p5.jpg

    “The city’s Department of Public Works has been asked to patrol the lot to keep out illegal parkers, said Cecilia Gilbert, a spokeswoman for the city agency.” (Fixing Milwaukee Series)

    Some special event visitors had a negative experience with downtown Milwaukee parking:

    Jim Kirk was searching for a place to park around 7 p.m. Sunday near the Bradley Center when three men braving the evening wind and rain ushered him into a gravel lot at 324 W. Juneau Ave.

    One man collected the cash – $10 – and the others used yellow wands to direct parkers into neat rows, Kirk said.

    About an hour and a half later, as Kirk and his wife enjoyed the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert, a city parking checker ticketed dozens of vehicles parked in the lot. The city wrote at least $4,000 worth of tickets at the lot through the day.

    Kirk and other concert-goers returned to their cars two hours later and found tickets ranging from $30 to $40 but no parking attendants.

    The fake parking attendants didn’t have authority to rent out the lot – even though they tried hard to dress the part, donning vests and money aprons often worn by other parking attendants in town.[Link: JSONLINE]

    Well that sucks for them.  Wait though, why is this problem? Why not let people park there legally?

    The land is owned by Milwaukee County and not designated for public use. The city’s Department of Public Works has been asked to patrol the lot to keep out illegal parkers, said Cecilia Gilbert, a spokeswoman for the city agency.

    Let me propose some ideas that Milwaukee’s Socialist-legacy bureaucrats didn’t consider for this unused land:

    – Lease out the lot for special event parking for a fixed price

    – Lease out the lot for special event parking for for a % of the take

    – Hire some P/T workers to run the lots for the City/County for an hourly wage + % of the take.

    – Let charity groups run the lot for fundraising (chosen by random lottery) on a per event basis for a % of the take.

    Advantages:

    – Improved downtown parking experience for visitors (i.e. the consumers coming to spend money in Milwaukee)

    – Increased non-taxpayer revenue for the City/County

    – Some additional income for a few City/County residents

    Disadvantages:

    None. Zip. Nada.

    The “I am too Lazy/Busy to post” Open Thread & Linkspasm

    I have been both too busy at work to post or read much and also too tired/lazy in the evenings to post, so here are a bunch of issues that might interesting. I will make updates in the comments.

    I will engage in comments here and elsewhere, but I most likely won’t post much if anything the rest of the week.

    Anyways, here we go:

    National Security / Global Security

    Positive side-effect from the US involvement in Iraq: “A top Iraqi official is calling for the formation of a regional economic security union to share water, energy and other resources, and mediate disputes among its members.”

    Newspeak example: Ayers and the Weathermen were not doing terrorism, they were doing “extreme vandalism”.

    The Greek Youth Riots: Leftists, not Muslims.

    Military Theory vs. Philosophy: “My point is that real benefit comes from focusing on real and testable change, not extravagant theories on the nature of warfare. An example of a testable hypothesis would be that direct and accurate portable HE projection could replace MG in the primary infantry support role. Best platform would be the XM-109 payload rifle with air-fuzed and HEAP rounds. This could be tested through computer simulation, modeling, field testing and historical review etc etc. While all those methods have there weaknesses and biases, they provide more feedback then is achievable is from the “nature of warfare” theories, so why are focusing on these non-productive concepts of 4GW and EBO etc. to define how we fight COIN?”

    Michael Yon on Afghanistan: “But Afghanistan is a different story. I write these words from Kandahar, in the south. This war here is just getting started. Likely we will see severe fighting kicking off by about April of 2009. Iraq is on the mend, but victory in Afghanistan is very much in question.”. His blog should be in your RSS feed.

    Cyberwar? “The report calls for the creation of a Center for Cybersecurity Operations that would act as a new regulator of computer security in both the public and private sector. Active policing of government and corporate networks would include new rules and a “red team” to test computers for vulnerabilities now being exploited with increasing sophistication and frequency by identity and credit card thieves, bank fraudsters, crime rings, and electronic spies. “We’re playing a giant game of chess now and we’re losing badly,” says commission member Tom Kellermann, a former World Bank security official who now is vice-president of Security Awareness at Core Security.”. This should be a big money hole. I think the threat is overblown (and I am a IT Security guy). The real problem is that the approaches to information security at the Macro level seem pretty immature and need to be rethought. That is where the money should be spent.

    – …and yet: “They propose that botnets should be designated as ‘eWMDs’ — electronic weapons of mass destruction.”

    – Podcast to Listen to: Covert Radio


    Economics & “On The Bailout”

    – [Forbes] Makes the case to cut taxes across the board instead of increasing Government  spending. Here was my “stimulus” idea. So does Human Events.

    – The interference into Bank business by politicians has begun.

    Heh: “Practically speaking, however, public works involve long start-up lags. Large-scale construction projects of any type require years of planning and preparation. Even those that are “on the shelf” generally cannot be undertaken quickly enough to provide timely stimulus to the economy” and “Some of the candidates for public works, such as grant-funded initiatives to develop alternative energy sources, are totally impractical for countercyclical policy, regardless of whatever other merits they may have. In general, many if not most of these projects could end up making the economic situation worse because they would stimulate the economy at the time that expansion was already well under way.” Check out who said that.

    Oops: “These finding are not consistent with standard Keynesian theory”

    Amity Shales: “The idea is to revive the economy and create jobs for America’s unemployed. But huge public works projects often fail to revive national economies. Consider the example of Japan in the 1990s.”

    – BTW, Real Clear Markets is a nice roundup web page.

    Dissing (rightfully) Macroeconomics

    – “One new reality is the imperative that our government modernize America’s aging energy, water and transportation infrastructure.

    Also: “It’s important that the elected officials view public works investment not as a short-term stimulus for stimulus’ stake, or a vehicle for politically driven job creation. The goal should be to create the best and broadest necessary and permanent infrastructure for the most responsible minimal price needed to build it. Being careful here is necessary because this is borrowed, finite money; it could become prohibitively expensive for the feds to borrow as debt levels skyrocket. Spending is not investing.” and “Similarly, funding regular maintenance work that states and cities should pay for isn’t a wise investment. Federal money should pay for replacing obsolete assets and making well-thought-out improvements.”

    Blamestorming the Crisis: “Free markets did not bring the world’s financial system to the edge of collapse. Rather, the epicenter of the crisis was a massive dose of state capitalism. By state capitalism, I mean that the state, in this case the federal government, used its vast powers to intervene in, and distort capital markets in a manner that led directly to the creation of trillions of dollars in bad loans. Moreover, in the pursuit of a social policy to increase affordable housing and home ownership, the federal government engaged in policies that disrupted the financial market’s ability to be self-regulating; that is to attenuate if not avoid the crisis we are in.”

    – “Buffet U

    – I am not surprised: “Recent data suggests that many borrowers who received help with mortgage modifications earlier this year tended to re-default on their payments, a top U.S. banking regulator said Monday.” […] Dugan said recent data showed that after three months, nearly 36% of borrowers who received restructured mortgages in the first quarter re-defaulted.

    – Podcast to listen to: Econtalk and Planet Money

    Detroit and the Auto Industry

    Truth to power:  “GM, Chrysler, and Ford are failing in part because of their foolish attempts to manipulate the government into protecting them from the market”

     – The (first) Detroit handout bailout will be $15billion. Morning Joe (a pretty good morning news show) was saying that the House Speaker didn’t want anybody with business experience to be the Car Czar. Also, no chapter 11 for GM.

    – FYI…that $70/hr figure for UAW workers is just current workers. Retirees cost are above that.

    Chrysler should open its books: “Chrysler LLC says it’s almost broke and needs federal aid to survive. Perhaps that’s true. Yet taxpayers should be asking: How do we know? Sure, we can surmise from all the awful vehicles Chrysler makes that it’s losing mountains of dough. Really, though, we have no idea. We don’t even know who sits on the company’s board of directors. That’s because Chrysler and its owner, Cerberus Capital Management LP, won’t disclose the information”. I suggested this sometime back.

    Milwaukee and “Fixing Milwaukee”

    – The City can’t even do the basics right: “Up to $780 million more needed to fix worst residential roads“:

    The audit from Comptroller W. Martin “Wally” Morics’ office found that 214 miles of residential streets, or nearly 21% of the total, were in the worst shape, as measured by a city Department of Public Works scale.

    Auditors also found that the department is taking an average of 106 years to repave or replace local streets as of this year. That’s down from the 2005 peak of 163 years, but it’s still more than twice the streets’ expected lifespan.

    To deal with the problem, auditors recommended shifting from a policy of working on the worst streets first to a strategy of keeping the best streets in good shape while catching up on the backlog of poor streets.

    Retro Milwaukee

    – The County Board chair wants to forgive the debt a do-gooder organization and let them be a county contractor again.

    Entrepaunership Stuff

    – “Bathroom for Rent

    – Podcast to checkout: Struggling Entrepreneur

    Science, Technology and Gadgets

    Bad news for future Potential Space Elevator: “n a report on NewScientist.com, researchers working on development of a space elevator (an idea we have discussed numerous times) have determined that the concept is not stable.”

    – “The 10 big energy Myths

    “Ten ways the world could end”

    Tech Dirt has Doug Engelbart’s 1968 demo. “That demo was the first time the world saw an awful lot of things that are common today: from the mouse (and, yes, he talks about naming the mouse), to a graphical user interface, to hyperlinks, among many other things (including a few computer bugs).”

    – Podcast to check out: Talk of the Nation’s Science Friday.

    Pop Culture

    – Podcast to check out: All Songs Considered

    Other / General

    The Chicago Way! How disgusting.

    Hmmm: “Joe Wurzelbacher says he felt “dirty” after “seeing some of the things that take place” on the campaign trail.” It is not fun to see how sausgage is made.

    More evidence the Football Playing skill and Gun Safety are negatively correlated (sample size=2): “Mississippi Football Star Shoots Self During Traffic Stop”

    Please add your thoughts and links in the comments.

    YouTube Science Fiction: “This is my Milwaukee”

    I found this on Althouse:

    I really don’t recognize it. I don’t think it was filmed in Milwaukee.

    Fixing Milwaukee: “A team of Journal Sentinel reporters spent a year examining the drinking culture in Wisconsin”

    The series is called Wasted in Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Journal did a good job.