Archive for September, 2008|Monthly archive page

The Geography of Debt

boiling water
Sometimes when I’m feeling impatient, I watch water as it starts to boil. Small bubbles start forming in specific locations. As the water gets hotter, the smaller areas coalesce to form larger areas producing larger bubbles.

Seems like real estate bubbles do something similar. They started out in small areas then spread to entire cities, then regions. We were told it was a tide lifting all boats.

Now they are calling it a taxpayer bailout. This is not quite correct. The treasury will sell bonds to foreign countries, many of whom have very different objectives.

Read the EULA
I usually click through a EULA. I hope congress doesn’t do this when reading through the Legislative Proposal for Treasury Authority to Purchase Mortgage-Related Assets. Especially Section 8.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

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Learning from Experience, and Maps

This video is worth watching, if you’re thinking about sticking out the storm anywhere near Galveston Bay.

Two Different Ikes

Ron Pauls District

Ron Paul's District


Ron Paul‘s district is going to be hit hard by Hurricane Ike. Ron Paul is a libertarian. Many libertarians probably don’t like the government telling them they must evacuate.

What I fear is that a major disaster like this will result in an extended state of emergency. To manage cleanup and avoid looting, law enforcement will need to determine who has the right to be in particular area. Active RFID identity cards could quickly be issued. An emergency could be extended ad infinitum, creating entire regions where liberty is suspended.

Under such conditions, travel plans for moving through a disaster area will be required, similar to flight plans, or permit routing systems used by DOTs. Alerts will be sent when sensors detect RFIDs outside their designated zone of operation, or when webcams sense people that lack RFID tag.

The Other Ike

The Other Ike


The other Ike was a bit different. He balanced the budget (twice) and promoted a very large government program – the Interstate Highway Act. He’s also the first one to warn us about the military industrial complex. As a retired General he could do this without being accused of being a commie. We need to keep his comments in mind when we make disaster management plans.

In other news about (hurricane) Ike, Brian Timoney has posted some more impact analysis here.