.:∴ Archives ∴:.
Tierra Verde

The sticky notes at the front of the page

blue stars

(graphic inserted, as some people don't have the required font(s) to view the stars correctly, like The_Rose!)

Comments to be updated soon. New version, fixed CSS table to prevent wild spacing, and hopefully some code to help make my code stay validated. When I actually get around to it. Sigh.

Saturday, May 28

Murphy’s Laws of Combat Operations  

Murphy’s Laws of Combat Operations:

  • You are not Superman.
  • Keep it simple stupid.
  • Automatic weapons - aren’t
  • Recoilless weapons - aren’t
  • Suppressive fire - won’t
  • Incoming fire has the right of way.
  • If the enemy is in range, so are you.
  • Don’t look conspicuous, it draws fire.
  • If it’s stupid and it works, it ain’t stupid.
  • When in doubt, empty your magazine.
  • The easy way is always mined.
  • Try to look unimportant, they may be low on ammo.
  • Professionals are predictable; it’s the amateurs that are dangerous.
  • Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy somebody else to shoot at.
  • Never draw fire; it irritates everyone around you.
  • Anything you do can get you shot, including doing nothing.
  • No combat ready unit ever passed inspection.
  • No inspection ready unit ever passed combat.
  • Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than you.
  • If your attack is going really well, it’s an ambush.
  • No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.
  • Your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.
  • The enemy diversion you are ignoring will turn out to be their main attack.
  • The only thing more accurate than enemy incoming fire is friendly incoming fire.
  • When you have secured the area, don’t forget to tell the enemy.
  • Make it tough enough for the enemy to get in, and you won’t be able to get out.
  • A sucking chest wound is nature’s way of telling you to slow down.
  • If you’re short of everything but the enemy, you’re in a combat zone.
  • The enemy invariably attacks on only two occasions - when you’re ready for them and when you’re not.
This is for Garfield and Sparx, to keep in their head. tongue laugh

Relevant Link

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/28/2005 09:33:00 PM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Friday, May 27

What is an M.P.? — for Garfield and Sparx on Memorial Day weekend, 2005  

What is an M.P.?:

Supporting the Three

I am the Infantry, follow me
Not a foot soldier, we're much more you see
We'll take the fight to the enemy
I am the Infantry, first of THE THREE

I am the Calvary, follow me
A modern horse soldier in an APC
Charging straight forward to the enemy
I am the Cav, most daring of THE THREE

I am the Armor, follow me
The arm of decision I'll always be
When the going gets rough, call on me
I am the Armor, the best of THE THREE

Armor, Cav and Infantry
Rush headlong into the mêlée
Breaking the lines like an angry sea
Deep into enemy territory

Approaching a crossroads, what do we see
The area secured by two lonely MPs
Directing us forward, how can this be
How long has he been here waiting for me

What a crazy person an MP must be
He has no firepower or armor like me
And I thought everyone followed THE THREE
Armor, Cav and Infantry

I am the MP, don't follow me
You don't want to be where I will be
Guarding a crossroad, waiting for THE THREE
Just my partner, a sixteen, a sixty and me

With the objective taken, wait and see
No one will remember the lonely MP
Who held this ground so they could run free
But that's my job, supporting THE THREE

By Sgt. Allan L. Perkins, USA MP
Miss you guys!

Relevant Link

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/27/2005 02:49:00 PM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Friday cat blogging  

Here's a picture of our oldest cat, Kali. She's about 13 years old. Absolutely hates all the other cats in our house as well. Talk about a queen! She never got along with our previous cat, Tacky, either. Tacky is now living with The_Rose's ex.


Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/27/2005 09:45:00 AM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Thursday, May 26

What a load of crap to look forward to. NOT!  

The Daytona Beach News-Journal

Randall Terry is running for state senator where I live at.

I'm cringing at the thought of All Schiavo, all the time airing on every fscking TV channel, radio station and newspaper.

This is the kind of news that doesn't make my day.

Relevant Link

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/26/2005 10:59:00 AM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post


The things my daughter gets into.

She's gotten into a new band called Society 1 (Society One?) and they have this weird new age mysticism that they are pushing on their web site. It's flash, and my daughter just had to be able to print it out (Die flash, die!), so I had to type it all out for her. Not exactly happy about it, especially when it just nothing but fluff. In some ways they sound like born agains, but getting through the whole thing sounds like… I don't know. Empty new age spirituality that means pretty much whatever you want it to mean. Here's what I typed in:

Level 1 (rebirth) is the gathering and spreading of information pertaining to my teachings through the material of Society1. This is a very important level because it basically ensures the life of the message. Through continual proliferation of information and obtaining feedback from previous efforts of those who put forth the Word (Message of Society 1) we create a circle of creation. This is the birth of infinity concerning our efforts. Soon there will be no distinctive beginning or end and this will empower the words to such a great extent that it will be the beginning of a new Aeon. Level 1 is the foundation as well as your birth into the Inner Circle of Infinity. Something I should state is that within this system of initiation some levels are constant. Once obtained there is no actual transcendence but rather a development and further evolution of that level. Level 1 is one of these stages.

Level 2 (Second awareness) is the action of developing awareness in the objective (physical) world with printed materials or written representations of The Word (message of Society 1) within a physical public forum. Whereas Level 1 dealt with the spreading of The Word it is only within verbal means or immediate written consumption (Internet). Although other individuals are involved with the information that is being put forth it is still a dualistic subjective state. This meaning that the information shared comes from a subjective state (The Initiate) and is immediately consumed to a subjective state (the Uninformed). Although the words may still be present (in the case of the Internet posting) there is no manifestations of what transpired within the physical world. Level 2 is the process of crossing the line of nonmaterial to material. It is putting forth of materials that contain The Word or essence of what Society 1 is trying to achieve into physical public forums (the objective world).

Level 3 (Synthesized Cultivation) is the point within the process of initiation where the acts of development as well as the system itself begins to become personal. This is an important step because without individualization of The Process (workings of levels) the potential and development of the system and the Initiate cannot be fulfilled. To synthesize is the combining of elements to make a whole. The first step of Level 3 is the combining of the manifestations (words, music, aesthetics) of Society 1 with other elements of your predilections (preference). Once this has been achieved something of your unique preference has been created and is ready for cultivation (development and improvement). The cultivation of your Unique Creation through synthesis is the forerunner to your Self-Creation.

Level 4 (Self_Creation) is the act of taking your Unique Creation and manifesting it within the objective world. This is the process of preparing your synthesized vision for public consumption. It is almost a staging level for what you will be putting forth into conventional society. This is the last level before your personalized aspects of initiation leave the state of individual isolation. At this level your Unique Creation should be ready to stand among the friction that is created by public consumption and willing to evolve within The Circle Of Creation.

Level 5 (Focused Will) is very difficult aspect of Initiation. It has to do with the taking of your self creation and having it entertained by conventional society. For development of this level it is absolutely necessary for people outside of your immediate surroundings (family and friends) to get involved with your synthesized vision on any level possible. This could be perceived as a negative or positive interaction but continual interaction is of the utmost importance. This will bring about a highly personalized Circle Of Creation. At this level the use of magic should be considered to aid you in the attainment of your goal. The types of magic used to work on development within this initiation system are sorcery and divination. Although the use of magic is introduced at Level 5 previous levels can be further developed using techniques learned from this point forward.

Level 6 (Acquired Power is the attainment and maintenance of a physically tuned vessel body). When a satisfactory level of physical ability is obtained an act of extreme mental and physical difficulty must be undertaken in the name of your Unique Creation. This act will crystallize all previous levels into one cohesive whole and give you the ability to focus all aspects of initiation to your will.

Level 7 (Lord) is represented by the symbol of the overall initiation (The Inner Circle). The reason for this is to symbolize the secrecy and individualistic nature of the final state of The Process. The actual symbol for level 7 is a self-created on based on the coming into existence of the self-created. The reasons for secrecy is to keep the journeys essence and charge it within a symbol that will remain intimate and not taken into others realms of consciousness for experimentation. This symbol is just for you and can be a constant source of inspiration, power and focus. If done correctly this symbol will contain all your existence you wish to retain after you cease to exist in the physical body and be used within the realm beyond death. Before this should be attempted an additional working in this initiative process should be recognized. The observation of your Unique Creation. When your synthesized vision profoundly affects the activities of conventional society you are ready to create your secret symbol.

Relevant Link

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/26/2005 01:11:00 AM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Wednesday, May 25

Slashdot | Over Half a Million Bank Accounts Breached  

Slashdot | Over Half a Million Bank Accounts Breached

This is scary. Banks are supposed to keep our money safe for us. Since money nowadays is almost all computer bits (yeah, there's the occasional bills and coins, but the big money is in nothing but bits), you would think that they would be able to handle their information a lot better. I have no doubt that if this had happened with a bank that was under Sebastian's watch, they'd be in a world of hurt.

This is truly sad. I wonder how Financial Institutions is handling this crapola?

Relevant Link

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/25/2005 10:38:00 PM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Friday, May 20

Cat blogging! For Sparx!  

This is Greybeard, Sparx's cat. As if anyone actually owns a cat! He's part Russian Blue, and brother of Grizelle. Her Friday blogging.

And both (as kittens) can be seen on this observation (cat blogging a day early it seems…)

So this goes out to Sparx! Click on the picture for the bigger version of the picture.

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/20/2005 11:42:00 AM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Saturday, May 14

My Personality Disorder Test  

Surprisingly good!

-- Personality Disorder Test --
-- Personality Disorder Information --

Relevant Link

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/14/2005 01:18:00 PM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Friday, May 13

Personal and small business information manager: Get organized, Backpack  

Personal and small business information manager: Get organized, Backpack

I thought that I would try this out. Turns out that I screwed up a link, and royally screwed up a page I was working on. Now, technical support is only available to paying customers, but they have a forum available. I've signed up for the forum, and am currently awaiting my password. Now, when I originally signed up for this service, why wasn't I automatically signed up for the forum? But I went ahead and signed up. Still no password. Can't email support on a fucking bug report, because I'm not a paying customer.

At this point, I don't want to be a paying customer. If my playing around in 5 to 10 minutes means I've really broke it good, I'm scared of what could really happen. Blogger, a free service (that I'm also having issues with right now) is able to handle support, and handle bug reports, for those of use who use their free service. Not only that, but Blogger also intercepts the kind of error that I made in the first place. And I can tell that I'm not the only one that's having a similar problem. I'm not impressed. Not by the software at this point, and certainly not by their policies. Evidently, this is one site that I'm probably going to have to write off, especially since I can't seem to login to the fucking forums.

Relevant Link

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/13/2005 12:19:00 AM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Thursday, May 12

bytehead's link blog: May 2005  

bytehead's link blog: May 2005

Boy, am I pissed. Blogger has made some changes, and boy have they screwed me over good this time. It's been a little over two weeks since I've done an update to my linkblog, and I now find out that they are encoding everything I send via email. So my HTML isn't rendering, it's just showing. So I went through the 24 entries that I submitted today and edited them. I've also found out that at least for the month of March, they've been wrapping my entries with an <p class="mobile-post"> </p> which I really don't think they should be doing. Period.

This really torques me off good now. The frelling system was going to shit, and now they've got this extra crap going on, and I still had to resubmit items 4 times before Blogger would proceed to actually post them, so they are still having issues with that.

The wrapping around with an unknown class has gone on at least since the beginning of April. I'm working on my own software, but damn this is really truly pissing me off. They have a blog for the status of Blogger, they have a developmental blog. But they have nothing in place to even state any kind of this shit is going on. Ow, wee, they have a new class defined! What the hell is the difference if nobody knows about the frelling change in the first place!

Google, you'd better get your act together!


Relevant Link

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/12/2005 11:21:00 PM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Administrivia - Linkblog!  

Found a rather large problem with my linkblog. The permalinks, while technically working, weren't working correctly. I had no anchors that would actually get pointed to, as I was getting confused by the <BlogItemURL>, which since I don't have item posts (single item per post page, rather stupid for a linkblog), where I was trying to set up the anchor point kept not being generated. Now that I've gotten rid of that particular part of my template, permalinks now work as they should.

I figured this out while working on the publishing part of my linkblog software.

I'm still using Blogger for my linkblog right now, but due to the issues and problems I've had with Blogger and its email gateway, I've decided to roll my own using PHP and MySQL. I've got some more work to finish up on the processing part, where I read each .URL from a set location, set up a form for my comment to be typed into, and any modifications made by me, and put that into a database for the publishing part.

I'm not rushed about it right now, as it Blogger seems to be working fairly well, although I've been getting bounces back from Blogger that they aren't processing, when they actually are processing and being posted. Haven't done it in awhile, and I'm currently over 100 new items that I should process. surprised


Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/12/2005 07:51:00 PM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Interesting night last night with the cats  

As I was preparing to go to bed last night, I let in Hairy, who I let out earlier and went to the kitchen to give him his nightly milk (yes, he's spoiled), only to find that Grizelle had snuck in the open garage door that I didn't get closed when I took out the final bit of garbage to be picked up this morning. Took care of both of them, and proceeded to bed. Grizelle got into the bedroom first, basically making sure I couldn't get into bed. Then Hairy decided that he wanted to sleep with me as well. Well, the two of them really don't get along too well. Grizelle started hissing and growling at Hairy, so I managed to climb into bed, between them. Grizelle proceeded to turn her back to Hairy, curled up and went to sleep. Hairy proceeded to take the next hour to groom himself.

At 4AM, the two cats were still sleeping in the bed, with me right between them. Evidently that was a good enough solution for them to share the bed. Then Grizelle decided it was time to go outside, so I let her out, and Hairy stayed in bed. Then at some point Hairy got out of bed. When I got up this morning and started breakfast, I found Hairy sleeping on the bed, again.

What weird pets we have.


Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/12/2005 11:49:00 AM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Wednesday, May 11

FT.com / Home UK - US real wages fall at fastest rate in 14 years  

FT.com / Home UK - US real wages fall at fastest rate in 14 years via Taegan Goddard's Political Wire


Relevant Link

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/11/2005 06:34:00 PM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Political North Carolina pastor resigns - Politics - MSNBC.com  

Political North Carolina pastor resigns - Politics - MSNBC.com:
"No one has ever been voted from the membership of this church due to an individual’s support or lack of support for a political party or candidate,” he said in a statement.
Let me be one (of many I'm sure) to call bullshit. He's gone, which is probably the best thing for that church. Otherwise, I'm afraid I'd be on the side of banging the drum for loosing their tax exempt status.

The same people that oppose abortion are the same ones clamoring for the death penalty. Which doesn't make much sense.

Then again, I'm for the right to choose an abortion, and I'm against the death penalty. In the one, I never will make that choice, but I do see a need to have the availability of choosing an abortion. That should be between the woman, her doctor and her God. Meanwhile, I'm opposed to the death penalty mainly on the fact that it is well known that innocents have been put to death for crimes that they commit. Maybe we'll have a law that says that if a District Attorney goes for the death penalty, gets his wish, but turns out that the person convicted is not guilty, then that district attorney gets the death penalty. Makes about as much sense as a lot of the laws around here.

Relevant Link

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/11/2005 12:00:00 AM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Monday, May 9

(Not!) My first Greasemonkey script  

The Technorati script looks to be quite handy. It just doesn't put out XHTML valid code. So I made it that way.

Script here

Trivial, but annoying to me. See related link for original code.

Relevant Link

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/09/2005 08:19:00 PM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post


Test of the Greasemonkey script for blogger.com that allows me to tag stuff with Technorati.

OK, it looks like I need to put in a class for tag_list in my CSS.

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/09/2005 02:47:00 PM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

For Some Techies, an Interminable Workday - Yahoo! News  

For Some Techies, an Interminable Workday - Yahoo! News

Some good stuff here.

Relevant Link

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/09/2005 02:22:00 PM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Saturday, May 7

Local News - Times Recorder - www.zanesvilletimesrecorder.com  

Local News - Times Recorder - www.zanesvilletimesrecorder.com

Boy, does this strike home. Zanesville is 30 miles east of Hebron, my "real" home town, which is 30 miles east of Columbus, my claimed home town. SunCruz, mentioned in this article, operates a cruise chip out of Jacksonville, just north of Orange Park, where I currently live.

Relevant Link

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/07/2005 06:25:00 PM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Dems voted out of N.C. church, members say - Politics - MSNBC.com  

Dems voted out of N.C. church, members say - Politics - MSNBC.com:
“He’s the kind of pastor who says do it my way or get out,” said Selma Morris, the former church treasurer. “He’s real negative all the time.”
Yeah, this is what we get for "big tent" inclusionary right wingnuts.

Relevant Link

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/07/2005 06:18:00 PM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Teaching Ideas & Resources - TES - The Times Educational Supplement 1  

Teaching Ideas & Resources - TES - The Times Educational Supplement 1

I don't have time to really respond to this, but I think it's pretty ridiculous. note to self: respond when you have time

Relevant Link

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/07/2005 11:47:00 AM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Friday, May 6

Friday catblogging.  

This is Grizelle begging for milk. Need to get a good one of Greybeard for Sparx.

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/06/2005 01:50:00 PM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

News from Panzer and Bagram.  

I chatted with Sparx over AIM yesterday. He received the package that The_Rose and I mailed him. It contained a couple of pots and pans, some DVDs (including his beloved Braveheart), and some food. Some of which was evidently not allowed by customs (I'm surprised that it actually goes through customs), but he got the whole enchilada unmolested. The Slim Jims were much appreciated.

I haven't heard from Garfield in awhile, not even on the computer. Hattrick and the daughter did receive letters from him yesterday though, so that was good. No stamps needed evidently, as it was marked Free, and even that was cancelled with a stamp. surprised He has written anything in his blog (it's in the left hand side if you want to read it) in awhile.

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/06/2005 06:44:00 AM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Thursday, May 5

Happy 05/05/05 - Cinco de Mayo!  

Depending on how you look at things, it's either 05/05/05 (sounds like the Domino's Pizza deal), or Cinco de Mayo!

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/05/2005 05:11:00 PM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Transcript for April 17 - Meet the Press, online at MSNBC - MSNBC.com  

Transcript for April 17 - Meet the Press, online at MSNBC - MSNBC.com:
MR. RUSSERT: There is a road, a highway from the airport to downtown Baghdad that's called the Road of Death by many. I understand there's a taxi service on that road to take someone from downtown to the airport.

MR. FILKINS: Yeah. There's actually a company in Baghdad that does nothing except offer rides to the airport and back. They've got an armored cars and some guards. And they charge $35,000 for...

MR. RUSSERT: Thirty-five thousand dollars?

MR. FILKINS: ...for a ride to the airport. And I think you know, if you miss your plane and you have to come back, it's another $35,000. But...

MR. RUSSERT: How long--is it six miles?

MR. FILKINS: I think it's about six miles, yeah. It's not a happy six miles. So, you know, they earn their money.

MR. RUSSERT: Why have we been unable--or the Iraqis unable to protect that road, that stretch?

MR. FILKINS: That's a real mystery. It's a really bad neighborhood that it goes through, and you know, people come in from both sides. And--but it's--you know, they'd have to occupy six miles of road 24 hours of day. I think in the dead of night, people come out and plant bombs and they stage attacks.
Oh my!
American mercenaries are paying this "fare" and billing it to the U.S. taxpayer.
via Thoughtcrimes

Relevant Link

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/05/2005 01:55:00 PM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Angry Bear — Social Security: Soak the Yuppies  

Angry Bear — Social Security: Soak the Yuppies:
So if I own a Treasury bond, that is a real asset but it is not a real asset when a Trust Fund owns a Treasury bond. And suppose I recently purchased a bond paying a 4.8% nominal return. Bush is saying this is somehow a better return than the Trust Fund gets – even though its bond also pays a nominal return equal to 4.8%. That is some kind of fuzzy math akin to Bush’s fuzzy accounting where he claimed that my getting a better return on my 401(K) lowers government liabilities. Incidentally, all individuals currently have the right to open private accounts assuming they have sufficient resources.
Bingo! That's the exact problem I have in this blog entry. If that paper is worthless because the Government owns the paper, but it's not because I or somebody else owns it, we've got a problem. A real serious problem that transcends Social Security or anything else then.

Relevant Link

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/05/2005 01:34:00 PM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Wednesday, May 4

TCS: Tech Central Station - The Social Security Trust Fund is Irrelevant (Or How Al Gore Was Right)  

TCS: Tech Central Station - The Social Security Trust Fund is Irrelevant (Or How Al Gore Was Right):
One of the least-noted, but most important, statements about Social Security President Bush made in his April 28 press conference is "by 2041 Social Security will be bankrupt." In so saying, President Bush seems to have caved and moved away from the clarity he so ably demonstrated on April 5. Back then, in one of his best domestic-policy photo ops, he showed the nation the Trust Fund: $1.5 trillion of government bonds gathering dust in a file cabinet in West Virginia. Scrutiny of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund leads to issues that are both economic and philosophic. Does the trust fund really exist? Is it relevant to policy decisions?
Clarity? What fscking clarity? The Great Uncommunicator did not state that the bonds were worthless. Many people have speculated this. But the fact is, the POTUS has been pontificating about private savings accounts, while still admitting to the fact that private accounts by themselves won't fix SS. If they don't, what the hell will? If it's part of a plan, fine. Just what the hell is the rest of the plan? Or is there another part of the plan? The Republicans dare challenge the Democrats to come up with their own plan, when they haven't even espoused their own fucking plan totally yet? Somebody needs to get real here.
Yes and no, respectively. It exists but it's irrelevant, which was precisely Bush's point on April 5. Here's the sense in which it exists. For all but 11 of the last 68 years, payroll tax revenues for Social Security have exceeded the amount the government spent on Social Security. The government used the excess to buy special bonds printed by the federal government. In other words, the government borrowed from itself. It then took the proceeds of the bonds and used it for other government expenditures. The idea all along has been that in 12 to 14 years, in the midst of the baby boom retirement wave, Social Security benefits will exceed payroll taxes earmarked for Social Security. Then the government can sell these bonds­ -- to itself, of course -- ­and use the proceeds to make up the gap.
Well, let's see, the supposedly greatest economic mind of the US, Alan Greenspan pushed for the big increase in SS taxes during Clinton's time. We are just now discovering that the government won't/can't/shouldn't be doing this savings? This is what this paragraph is saying.

The fatal truth in the matter is that people do this all the time! They have outstanding loans for their cars, they have outstanding loans for their houses. According to this author, if you having a savings plan going on, it doesn't matter because you have other outstanding debts. Now I realize that this debt/savings is technically an accounting trick. But it is legal, and it goes on all the time. This is similar to how a bond issue works.
And that's why the Trust Fund is irrelevant. To buy the bonds in the Trust Fund from itself, the government must get the money from somewhere. It has four options. It can reduce other government spending. It can sell assets. It can increase taxes. Or, it can sell bonds. In other words, the Trust Fund has no effect­ -- zero­ -- on the government's financial situation.
It's an accounting trick, it goes on all the time, outside of the government just as well as inside the government. Is it irrelevant? No. Just because the author wants it to be irrelevant doesn't make it so. As to whether or not ist has an effect on the government's financial situation, I would say that it actually does. But more about that later.

I also noticed that there is another option to this whole scenario. The government just keeps printing more money. More about that in a little too.
Let's make it more concrete with a personal situation that many people can relate to. Say you're planning to send your kid to college. You have ten years and think you need $100,000. In Scenario A, each year you put an IOU for $10,000 in a jar. At the end of ten years, you pour out the jar, swear a bit more than is proper, and then scramble to come up with $100,000, either through borrowing, selling assets, earning more, or spending less. In Scenario B, you skip the jar and IOU charade and advance to the final step: you swear and scramble. The IOU charade was irrelevant.
What a pile of bullshit!

Following this example with the government forgets the little fact that the government has been given that $10,000 to be put in that jar by increasing the taxes! The fact of the matter is, the $10,000 actually exists, it is not just an IOU as the author is trying to insist here. There is an actual $10,000 that somebody has. Now if gets misspent, that's another issue. But trying to say that what has been going on is just stuffing IOUs into a jar is ludicrous, and an outright dishonest lie.
It's true that the bonds actually exist and it's even true that they're worth something.
OK, so we aren't talking about making the government insolvent. Which by not honoring the bonds would pretty much make the US exactly that. And considering that the Constitution forbids that from happening. However, the author is at this point setting us up to believe that the bonds aren't worth their face value. Problematic that one to me, but I'll talk about that when we come to it.
But that doesn't matter.
It most certainly does! If those bonds aren't worth what they're worth, then neither is the currency that's currently circulating. Again, it's a Constitutional mandate that the US pay its debts.

Here, we get to the meat of the matter.
Consider an analogy with General Electric Company. GE has 10.6 billion shares outstanding and its current share price is $36.32, which gives it a market capitalization of $385 billion. If you wanted to buy GE today, you'd have to cough up $385 billion. Now imagine that GE prints an additional one billion share certificates and puts them in a safe. Can GE claim that it is holding an asset worth $36.3 billon? Why stop at one billion shares? Could GE print 100 billion share certificates and claim to have an asset worth $3.63 trillion? Not by generally accepted accounting rules -- ­nor by generally accepted common sense. But here's where it gets tricky. Does each share of GE stock have value? Yes. The value of each GE share comes from the value of GE as a company, but each additional share that GE sells reduces the value of currently outstanding shares proportionally. If GE sold an additional one billion shares, GE's value would not change. Each share would then be worth $33.19 ($385 billion divided by 11.6 billion shares). In other words, GE can't simply print value.
An interesting analogy, but inherently flawed. Value here is a perceived value, not an absolute. The value of GE goes up and down based on investor behaviors. GE's capitalization could increase or fall without any regard to how many shares are outstanding. But this is a case of bait and switch. This is the unsung fifth option, which is to print more money. This is the correct analogy. There are repurcussions. Let's not be delusional about that. It would cause some inflation. And it certainly would cause the value of the existing bonds to decrease, but not just those bonds, all of them, which would then cause some major repurcussions. Another misleading issue talking about something that wasn't even brought up before, and isn't even acknowledged.
Back to Social Security. Do Treasury bonds have value? Certainly. But this value comes from the government's power to tax American residents. The reason the Trust Fund bonds have value is that they can be sold to a branch of the federal government that has the power to tax people. If, one night, an arsonist burned all the bonds in the West Virginia file cabinet, neither the government's ability to float new bonds nor its ability to tax people would be at all diminished.
Money has value. You certainly can't deny that either. Burn it and what happens? The whole (hole?) point of this is… what, exactly?
Interestingly, 2000 presidential candidate Al Gore recognized the irrelevance of the Trust Fund. For all the ridicule he received for his concept of the "lock box," what he was getting at was that he wanted to reduce the federal debt in order to make room for the new debt that he knew was coming with the retirement of the baby boomers.
Finally, a paragraph that makes some sense. The sentiment behind is completely wrong, but we are finally getting to the crux of the matter. Gore wasn't talking about irrelevance, he was talking about Congress ability to take a silk purse and make a sow's ear out of it. And with this kind of talk going on about it, he wasn't too far from the truth on this matter. People are making making up complete bullshit and spouting it off as if it were the complete truth. Such as this article. There are no facts, and there really aren't any opinions in this piece, it is just made up lies.
If it were true that the Trust Fund can help save Social Security, then there's an easy solution: quadruple the Trust Fund and save Social Security for much longer. Why stop there? Medicare is in more trouble than Social Security. Let's set up a multi-trillion dollar trust fund for Medicare.
Let's complete forget the fact that we (and by we, I mean the taxpayers) paid good money for those bonds. That money went somewhere! So the author is claiming that the trust fund should just be given some extra bonds. Of course, by trying to quadruple the Trust Fund, taxes would have to be raised, and then oops!, there is no crisis! SS is then golden pretty much forever! But raising taxes is something that the POTUS refuses to do. In fact he wants to reduce it even further.
The answer is clear. The fact that money changes hands between two branches of the federal government and bond certificates are printed is irrelevant. A bond is an obligation and an obligation to yourself is flimsy and easily broken. A bond becomes binding only when it is sold to another party. The Social Security OASI Trust Fund is irrelevant because the government's actions will be the same with or without it.
So, in other words, the fact of the matter is (as presented by this author), the extra taxes that we've been paying to create the trust fund are now worth squat. Because…? IOUs aren't binding if you make them to yourself? That's an interesting suggestion. That makes the government pretty damned monolithic as well. It still doesn't matter that the whole point of the article is a charade, slipping down into schadenfrade and possibly down to an absolute fraud.

I don't doubt that there are going to be issues once those bonds start becoming due. Then again, bonds just like it everywhere else are already causing issues when they become due. Is the actual problem that the bonds may or may not be worth what they should be, if anything? No, that's not the actual issue here. The issue is that Congress and the President have no fiscal restraint. They spend whatever they want when they want. And they are making sure that they take care of the people that got them in power by making sure that those people pay lesser tax, which means that the budget deficit keeps climbing instead of going down. But this author doesn't even begin to point out that the money in the trust fund, according to the way he wants us to look at it, has been badly managed, if not completely mismanaged.

This author's point is a waste of air as far as I'm concerned. And from this article, I'd have to say his book is about making great blunders, not decisions.
David R. Henderson is a research fellow with the Hoover Institution and an economics professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Charles L. Hooper is the president of Objective Insights, which consults to pharmaceutical companies, and is a visiting fellow with the Hoover Institution. They are co-authors of the forthcoming book, Making Great Decisions in Business and Life.

Relevant Link

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/04/2005 08:05:00 PM   Edit this entry 1 comments Links to this post

Tuesday, May 3

Happy Birthday Sparx and Garfield!  

Happy birthday to Sparx and Garfield!

They turned 20 today.

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/03/2005 12:01:00 AM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Monday, May 2

♫ Happy Birthday Dave Winer! ♫  

Happy birthday Dave!

Spreading a little link love to Dave on his 49th (again) birthday!

I just want to know when we're going to have a blogger's dinner here on the First Coast! Hey, Orange Park is halfway between St. Augustine and Jacksonville! Well, sorta at any rate!

Enjoy the Technorati boost! Although I doubt that I'll help you much in your PageRank though!

Relevant Link

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/02/2005 12:18:00 AM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Sunday, May 1

WiGLE - Wireless Geographic Logging Engine - Plotting WiFi on Maps  

WiGLE - Wireless Geographic Logging Engine - Plotting WiFi on Maps

Starting link

Interesting. My AP isn't listed. The SSID is ThisNetworkIsMonitored!, and it's not showing. Interestingly enough, I can't find anybody with that SSID, which was recommended to me by a security geek. Bunch of linksys routers in the area though!

Relevant Link

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/01/2005 08:35:00 PM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post

Very depressing…  

I've been looking for work. See that on the left side? At least The_Rose has a sub-contracting gig going right now that's going to let us continue to pay the bills for a little while longer. I don't understand why I can't find something around here. I really believe that I'd already have something going by this time if I still lived in Columbus. I keep hearing about networking, networking, networking. I have a network in Columbus. Don't have one here. And from what I've seen with some of the geeks that I've talked to around here, they're not in much better shape.

Then we have Stirling Newberry talking about What can't go on, won't, and it's depressing. The giant corporations are running a giant crap shoot hoping things can continue as they are, and they can't. We're in for quite a bumpy ride. And the recent changes in the bankruptcy laws is guaranteed to not help peoples' situations, leaving the corporations alone. And the fact that maybe it's the damn corporations that are loaning out this money to individuals that probably should be doing a lot more due diligence in maybe making sure that the people they loan money to aren't in bad shape to be close to declaring bankruptcy. Read it. It's good, makes an excellent point. And it's still depressing.

Then we have the total idiots (read Congresscritters) that have become completely clueless. Senator Allen (R-VA) wants you tell sell your home to survive in retirement!
And by the time they retire, they're going to have a pretty good nest egg there and they don't need as big a house, usually, because they don't want to be cutting grass and trimming hedges, and that is good for the economy as well.
Emphasis from the site.

<sarcasm>Yeah, the Republicans are really tuned in to the pulse of the majority of Americans.</sarcasm>

I keep waiting for the yahoo's that have been voting the Rs in as the Rs keep leading them by the ring in their nose to wake up and actually see where the hell they're being led. Which is the slaughterhouse.

Billmon has an article about the economy. He's calling for stagflation. And he's seeing the writing on the wall for our next recession. It's not like we aren't going to have another recession, let's not be stupid about that. But this economy in "recovery" just hasn't been creating the jobs that a recovery usually creates. And he brings up more about oil.

Brad Setser meanwhile talks about how the Chinese and Japanese handle their currency reserves differently. It's enough to make my head spin, but it still doesn't look good for those of us in the US.

It seems that we have reached peak oil. That's disturbing because of what that means for energy costs, and what that means not only to our economy but to the world economy. While China might be able to survive if oil continues to go up, the problem there is that if the US can't afford what China is shipping over to us, because of currency valuations, or recession, they probably won't be able to survive for too long. Start pricing oil in Euros instead of dollars, and we're really going to be up the creek.

I'll crawl back into my shell, and ponder some more.

Permanent link posted by bytehead @ 5/01/2005 06:43:00 PM   Edit this entry 0 comments Links to this post


Article Index

Murphy’s Laws of Combat Operations
What is an M.P.? — for Garfield and Sparx on Memorial Day weekend, 2005
Friday cat blogging
What a load of crap to look forward to. NOT!
Slashdot | Over Half a Million Bank Accounts Breached
Cat blogging! For Sparx!
My Personality Disorder Test
Personal and small business information manager: Get organized, Backpack
bytehead's link blog: May 2005
Administrivia - Linkblog!
Interesting night last night with the cats
FT.com / Home UK - US real wages fall at fastest rate in 14 years
Political North Carolina pastor resigns - Politics - MSNBC.com
(Not!) My first Greasemonkey script
For Some Techies, an Interminable Workday - Yahoo! News
Local News - Times Recorder - www.zanesvilletimesrecorder.com
Dems voted out of N.C. church, members say - Politics - MSNBC.com
Teaching Ideas & Resources - TES - The Times Educational Supplement 1
Friday catblogging.
News from Panzer and Bagram.
Happy 05/05/05 - Cinco de Mayo!
Transcript for April 17 - Meet the Press, online at MSNBC - MSNBC.com
Angry Bear — Social Security: Soak the Yuppies
TCS: Tech Central Station - The Social Security Trust Fund is Irrelevant (Or How Al Gore Was Right)
Happy Birthday Sparx and Garfield!
♫ Happy Birthday Dave Winer! ♫
WiGLE - Wireless Geographic Logging Engine - Plotting WiFi on Maps
Very depressing…
Copyright © 2003-2018, Bryan Price. Licensed by Creative Commons License: Creative Commons License
Home| This page| Colophon| Disclaimer| Privacy Statement