On podcasting

I get a lot of requests to do more podcasts on a regular basis, and while I’m amenable with regards to the necessary talking, interviewing, and so forth, I’ve finally concluded that I’m simply not at all interested in doing the necessary editing and studio tinkering. So, if there is anyone who is interested in that side of it, let me know. I don’t have any grand ideas about going full media, but given how most of the world seems to be astonished that the global economy is headed back tostill experiencing economic contraction, I figure that there may be a need for more of the sort of thing I started with the Voxonomics podcasts.

Basically, I’d like to be able to record an MP3, upload it to a server, and have a reasonably edited podcast magically appear within a day or two. If that’s not possible because no one is interested, it’s completely fine, but I thought I should at least throw this out there for any audiophiles with some time on their hands.

The Wall Street Journal scrubs the True Finns

Karl Denninger catches the WSJ doing a little ex post facto editing of the letter written by True Finn leader Timo Soini on the corrupt nature of the European banking bailouts:

Why I Won’t Support More Bailouts

When I had the honor of leading the True Finn Party to electoral victory in April, we made a solemn promise to oppose the so-called bailouts of euro-zone member states. These bailouts are patently bad for Europe, bad for Finland and bad for the countries that have been forced to accept them. Europe is suffering from the economic gangrene of insolvency—both public and private. And unless we amputate that which cannot be saved, we risk poisoning the whole body.

The official wisdom is that Greece, Ireland and Portugal have been hit by a liquidity crisis, so they needed a momentary infusion of capital, after which everything would return to normal. But this official version is a lie, one that takes the ordinary people of Europe for idiots. They deserve better from politics and their leaders.

To understand the real nature and purpose of the bailouts, we first have to understand who really benefits from them. Let’s follow the money.

At the risk of being accused of populism, we’ll begin with the obvious: It is not the little guy that benefits. He is being milked and lied to in order to keep the insolvent system running. He is paid less and taxed more to provide the money needed to keep this Ponzi scheme going. Meanwhile, a kind of deadly symbiosis has developed between politicians and banks: Our political leaders borrow ever more money to pay off the banks, which return the favor by lending ever-more money back to our governments, keeping the scheme afloat.

In a true market economy, bad choices get penalized. Not here. When the inevitable failure of overindebted euro-zone countries came to light, a secret pact was made. Instead of accepting losses on unsound investments—which would have led to the probable collapse and national bailout of some banks—it was decided to transfer the losses to taxpayers via loans, guarantees and opaque constructs such as the European Financial Stability Fund, Ireland’s NAMA and a lineup of special-purpose vehicles that make Enron look simple. Some politicians understood this; others just panicked and did as they were told.

The money did not go to help indebted economies. It flowed through the European Central Bank and recipient states to the coffers of big banks and investment funds.

The text that the Journal removed is marked in bold. Read the whole thing at the Market Ticker. And a thought occurs to me. Since the election of Mr. Soetoro has demonstrated that absolutely no documentation is required of an American presidential candidate, why not nominate Mr. Soini for the presidency? He’s a damn sight better than anyone else the Republicans are likely to choose, he isn’t too old, and as the leader of a popular, electorally successful party, he can’t possibly be called unelectable.

Anyhow, it’s a good example of how the Whore Street Journal should not be trusted any more than the New York Times or the National Enquirer.

HBO is on a roll

It appears someone at HBO has concluded that perhaps they might do better producing shows and series that are based on good books rather than repeatedly regurgitating the generic TV formula of cops and docs.

[Neil] Gaiman followed [Good Omens] with another classic, Neverwhere, in 1996 and Stardust in 1997. I have since adored every tale he has turned out. So it was with great interest I learned that nearly simultaneously with the premier of its epic Game of Thrones, HBO has announced that American Gods will be adapted into a new mini-series, with Gaiman himself co-piloting the writing, along with Robert Richardson.

I am no Gaiman fanboy, but I did rather like American Gods. Given that Stardust translated very effectively to the screen, I have little doubt that HBO’s American Gods will be every bit as entertaining as the Harris and Martin adaptions that preceded it.

Some of the other SF/F books I’d like to see HBO eventually address are the Melanie Rawn Dragon Prince series, Ann McCaffrey’s Harper Hall series, (although Dragonriders would make for much more HBO-style material), and Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain.

RGD interview with Sean Hannity

Sean was joined by author and columnist Vox Day in the show’s final hour to talk about his book, “The Return to the Great Depression.” You would think a book that tackles such a complicated issue as global economics would be a tough read, but it’s actually quite the contrary. Vox Day – one of the few economics writers to predict the current worldwide financial crisis – explains why it is likely to continue.

The entire 15-minute segment has been made available at hannity.com.

On the radio

It appears I’ll be on Sean Hannity’s radio show at around 5 PM today, in case you’re interested. The discussion is supposed to be about RGD, but as we have seen, you never actually know until you’re on air.

UPDATE: Some of you asked what effect this interview had on RGD’s Amazon rating. It definitely gave it a boost, although the Kindle edition was already ranked fairly high due to its low price relative to most economics books. It would also appear that Hannity listeners prefer real books to ebooks:

Kindle rank: 551 from 3,980
#1 in Economic History, #6 in Economics
Hardcover rank: 861 from 122,000
#11 in Popular Economics, #14 in Economics

It’s interesting that the Kindle store categories do not exactly match the book categories. For example, there is no Economic History category for hardcovers. Another observation worth noting is that #551 in Kindle falls between #178 and #302 in Books. This tends to confirm that Amazon is selling more ebooks than actual books. So, the Kindle version of RGD is likely in Amazon’s top 250 overall.

Flat myopic

Thomas Friedman unwisely gushes over rebellion in the Middle East:

With Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria now all embroiled in rebellions, it is not an exaggeration to suggest that the authoritarian lid that has smothered freedom in the Arab world for centuries may be coming off all 350 million Arab peoples at once. Personally, I think that is exactly what is going to happen over time. Warm up the bus for all the Arab autocrats — and for you, too, Ahmadinejad. As one who has long believed in the democracy potential for this part of the world, color me both really hopeful and really worried about the prospects.

If this was the 1930s, Friedman would no doubt be gushing about how optimistic he is about the new German Reichschancellor, and how remarkably popular Mr. Hitler is with the German people. And we can expect that he’ll soon lose his optimism and start shrieking bloody murder about how the US should invade whichever new Arab democracy first begins rattling its sabres in Israel’s direction.

Like most secular liberals, Friedman wildly overestimates the popular appeal of secular liberalism… when he’s not daydreaming about how useful it would be to be an authoritarian dictator-for-a-day.

Fed to hold quarterly press conferences

Apparently they can’t trust the financial media to lie adequately for them anymore. Of course, given the near-complete economic ignorance on the part of the media, it’s not as if Bernanke is going to be facing any difficult, or even pertinent, questions.