The calm before the storm

In response to Dr. Helen’s question, the answer is an unequivocal “yes”.

Glenn just got Vox Day’s new book in the mail, The Return of the Great Depression, so I picked it up and started reading. It is not for the faint of heart or the economically hopeful…. I have noticed that house sales (at least in the lower prices) in our area seem to be picking up and people seem to be out buying again–or at least, they are in the stores. I wonder if this is just the calm before the storm or whether things are improving?

This graph on debt outstanding by sector should explain why things look superficially as if they are improving, while they are actually doing absolutely nothing of the kind. Keep in mind that Q2 2010 – in other words, now – marks the beginning of the end of the massive federal stimulus plan that has allowed the substitution of G for C over the last six quarters. But as the first graph shows, that substitution cannot continue indefinitely. It would require deficits that are multiples of Obama’s record-setting 2009 and 2010 deficits and it wouldn’t ultimately work any better than either the Bush or Obama stimuli did.

And this is an amusing aside from Dr. Helen’s husband:

SORRY, WE’RE STILL SCREWED: Reihan Salam says we’re heading into a decade-long economic buzz saw. “We are propping up the most rotten sectors of the economy and diverting talent that would otherwise shift into the new interrelated systems that are slowly emerging—and this emergence will prove very slow indeed once the inevitable tax burden required to prop up aging yet politically powerful sectors hits.” Let’s hope this is wrong, but it’s basically an explanation of why a powerful federal government, unconstrained by traditional limits, is a bad idea. Oh, well, at least I’ve got Vox Day’s book to cheer me up . . . .

At the Black Gate

Yes, I’m still posting there. This one is for the old school gamers. It’s an interview with Marc Miller, the designer of Fifth Frontier War, Azhanti High Lightning, and, of course, Traveller. It offers substantial evidence in support of the hypothesis that designing games is a natural talent rather than the result of experience and interest in playing games.

The Gay Old Party strikes again

It would seem there are more gay Republicans than genuine conservative republicans in the Senate:

“US Senator Lindsey Graham is gay and while many people in South Carolina and Washington DC know that, the general public and Graham’s constituents do not,” Gheen said in the statement. Though Gheen claimed, both in the statement and at the Tea Party rally, that he does “not care about Graham’s private life,” he again said that Graham must declare his supposed homsexuality “so the public can rest assured he is not being manipulated with his secret.”

I am convinced that, with very few exceptions, there is something intrinsically and fundamentally wrong with the psyche of anyone who genuinely wants to be a national politician. I have no idea what is or is not true about Lindsay Graham, but what sort of lunatic would decide that what the good conservative people of South Carolina really need to represent their political interests is a closet dweller?

What you do is only your concern if you’re a private citizen, but not if you’re a politician positioned as a family values conservative. People have the right to know for whom they are voting.