Talent Oregon Coffee Shop Website Goes Live

My buddies over the Whistle Stop Coffee shop have a new website  and this is a post to help them get indexed more quickly at Google.  It’s a work in progress for them.    Small business sites can take some time to get indexed partly because Google, IMHO, is not doing a very good job with  the indexing of very fresh content.   This is partly because spammers are overwhelming the internet with fake websites and junky content which mean Google waits for incoming links and other signs of authenticity before indexing new stuff.

However, for businesses like the Whistle Stop, it can some time to get incoming links.    Hopefully this post will get them juiced up a bit since Google indexes this blog often and will follow the links out and “find” the new site.

Also important is to “claim” your business via Google’s small business service called “Google Local”.  Instructions are here

It’s also a good idea, though a bit of a hassle,  to create a sitemap for new websites – a list of pages that should be indexed.   This can be done online at now cost via search for “free sitemap” services and then submit to Google at no charge via the webmaster console.

Auth Code Help. Authorization Code Instructions for Domain Name Transfers from Godaddy, Moniker, and more.

Skip to highlighted text below for Auth Code Instructions

Even after thousands of domain name transactions over the years I’m always pulling my hair out with domain name transfer process which, like many mixtures of bureaucratic bungling and private sector greed, is about as frustrating, cumbersome, and potentially catastrophic.   You can even lose domain names – a key hallmark of many businesses – to scammers, inept registrars, or simple bad luck.     This post will be my attempt to help people figure out some of the quirks in the process.

First, recognize that you should not be paying more than about $10 per year for registration unless you are ALSO getting some local help/service/ etc from a webmaster. I use GoDaddy but there are many others that have reasonable fees.

Second, if you have a domain name(s) for your business or other valuable names you should register them for at least 5 years to decrease the chance you’ll lose the name.   Also, some believe search algorithms like to see longer registration times as a sign of authenticity, meaning it might help you rank a bit better all other things equal.

Third, BEWARE of the letters in the mail trying to pretend you need to renew a domain name that are really attempts to get you to switch to that registrar.   These are often legal forms of scams where they are a real service but are not the registrar you have now.

Generally you will find it easy to initiate a TRANSFER  IN to an account, and hard to nearly impossible to TRANSFER OUT.   Registrars generally make it very, very difficult to figure out the transfer out process because this will help keep people with them and even if you get angry they are losing your money and business anyway.

Unfortunately you’ll often need to do BOTH of these procedures to move a domain name from one registrar to another.   If you focus on the “TRANSFER OUT” and the required “AUTH CODES” and you’ll probably have success.

GODADDY Auth Codes:

Godaddy’s process is cumbersome but fairly straightforward.    Full details here from Godaddy.   Short version:

  1. Log in to your GoDaddy Account Manager.
  2. In the My Products section, click Domain Manager.
  3. Click the domain for which you want to retrieve the authorization code.
  4. In the Authorization Code field, click the Send by Email hyperlink.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Click OK again.

Moniker Auth Codes.

Moniker is the current front runner in my “diabolically difficult” online routine contest.   However once you know the secret you’ll be fine.  Be sure to put away ANY guns you have in the house before using their online help system or you’ll be using one on yourself.

The secret:  You obtain the Moniker Auth code to do external transfers as follows:

1. Log into your Moniker Account, select  “my domains”.

2. Now check the domain(s) you want to transfer out and click “transfer out”

3. Complete the “transfer out” dialog.

4. You should very shortly receive two emails.   You want the one that looks like the one below with domain name followed by a comma and a string that is the Auth code for that domain for the next 10 days.

5. If the process fails you may have to repeat this again (and again!) until the transfer “takes”.    Often if you purchase a domain from a third party they have *recently* registered that name and you won’t be able to transfer it for 60 days.  You’ll thus need to mark your calendar and start the process then as well as make sure the domain is registered at least through the transfer date (usually it will be as a year is usually added during the new registration)

THIS IS ONLY half the transfer process, now you’ll need to follow the instructions from your new registrar to transfer the domain *IN*, but those are usually straightforward  if you have the Auth Code.

Example Moniker Tranfer Out email:

[NOTICE] Account: 99999 Requesting Domains For Transfer Away From Moniker

As part of our standard transfer-out procedure, a notification has been submitted to Moniker notifying us of an intent to transfer the following domain(s) away from Moniker

This email serves as confirmation that we have received your notification.

This request will be valid for 10 days (240 hours).

The Reason Given For Transfer Was: changeOwnership

Domain Name,Epp AuthInfo (if applicable)
———– —————————-



How to find your Enom Auth Code:
How to obtain the authorization code and unlock a domain name on eNom

Log in.

In the “Registered domains” row, click “Manage Domains”.

Click the domain you want to unlock.

In the “Manage Domain” menu, click “General Settings”.

To retrieve the EPP key, click “Email Auth Code to Registrant”.

A message confirms that the authorization code has been emailed.

To unlock the domain, go to the “Registrar-Lock” row and select “Disable”, and then click “save”.

A message confirms that the update was successful.

Financial Planning in Southern California

It’s always fun to do a shout out to friends and family who have great services and/or online resources. I’m sometimes reluctant because this blog has my own quirky views which may not line up with their prospective clients, but I think everybody here is sharp enough to know that a “shout out” and endorsement at a personal blog does not tell you anything about the politics of anybody.

Today I wanted to note my cousin Ginita Wall in Southern California. She’s a CPA who has been writing books and specializing for many years in helping her clients manage their resources effectively. Although I’ve got a good grip on the basics of personal finance it is always impressive to talk with real experts like Ginita who understand many of the specialized tax and legal nuances you encounter when managing the portfolios of clients.

Her website is: Plan for Wealth She also co-manages a project that focuses on helping women learn about financial planning called WIFE for Women’s Institute for Financial Education.    Even today, many women find after a divorce or death of a spouse that they’d left much of the financial management and planning to their husband.   This can have serious negative impact.

Another reason to pay more attention to your personal finances today is that there seem to me to be more scams  around than ever – I think it’s one of the down sides of the rise of online activity.   Even trusted family and friends may lead you astray if they fall into the trap of the many online “get rich quick” schemes which are in my experience *always* a waste of time and money.    Ginita’s books offer common sense approaches that help people protect and build wealth over the long haul and manage their finances into post-retirement.

Hot Air and the CO2 Problem

A few years ago I felt compelled to learn a lot more about global climate change because I kept hearing about all the pending climate caused catastrophes looming just over the horizon. Hearing this not just from poorly informed journalists and TV news looking to stir the pot to increase viewers and thus ad revenue. I was increasingly hearing these alarms from the very scientists I felt would be responsible, objective, unbiased voices on the topic.

Like Joe Friday on the ancient crime series DRAGNET, I figured NASA, USA, UK scientists would take a “Just the facts please” approach and give me the objective information I needed to make informed decisions about how much economic well-being we should sacrifice to appease the climate change god who was threatening us with rising seas, monster storms, and killer heat waves. Something just wasn’t adding up here. I know science and I know how stable large systems tend to be and I know a catastrophe when I see one, and climate just wasn’t looking catastrophic to me. A lot more research would be needed.

Enter the controversial author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg. A statistician, teacher, and environmentalist, Lomborg’s initial enthusiasm for the “Green” movement led him to skepticism as he “did the math” on a variety of environmental issues and concluded there was more than a little fuzzy math being used to support many well accepted talking points about pending environmental collapse.

Lomborg’s analyses made him both famous and infamous in science circles where, in a series of articles in Scientific American, Lomborg was attacked as if he was an enemy of reason itself – accused of using the same data “cherry picking” tactics he’d suggested often lie at the heart of many environmental concerns, but more often than not simply attacked as an enemy of good science. This struck me as odd because Lomborg was easy to read and to understand and it appeared to me he was generally starting with a common sense question and looking for the answers in the math rather than using the math to support his contentions. Ironically this approach seemed very unlike the scientists who in the same Scientific American series had been attacking Lomborg almost exclusively on personal grounds rather than by carefully addressing his many reasonable points about how alarmism appeared to be trumping reason even within the scientific community.

This in turn led me to a very interesting private exchange with the editor of Scientific American who seemed overly alarmed I’d been “taken in” by Lomborg’s misleading math. He encouraged
me to spend more time studying the issues. Armed with my reasonably robust background in the sciences (BS Botany & Psychology, MS Social Sciences) I started to review the IPCC reports, participate actively at RealClimate.org and ClimateAudit.org – the two most intelligent Climate Blogs, and more.

RealClimate is written by several of the top climate researchers in the world so it was conspicuous to me how often they seemed to be waxing very philosophically about climate catastrophes and defending even the most flagrant propaganda points in the film “An Inconvenient Truth” and in the papers by James Hansen, NASA’s top climate spokesperson and an often cited proponent of pending climate catastrophes. Comments at RealClimate are even worse – personal abuse and reckless pseudo-science are tolerated when they support the case for catastrophic warming while reasoned questions are often moderated or attacked irrationally if they challenge the prevailing groupthink. In the blogOspheric chatterbox that kind of intolerance is nothing new, but RealClimate pretends to take a higher road and be a watering hole for intelligent climate debate. Unfotunately that is only a pretense, and this realization has led me to question how much personal bias has infected climate science itself.
Preliminary conclusion: Personal biases of climate scientists affect their generalizations a lot. So much so that the studies are always at risk for opportunistic data analysis( “cherry picking” ), influences from grant money (studies that “find” warming are much more likely to get headlines / additional funding) and perhaps most importantly a bias that insulates skeptical research from funding. Skepticism lies at the heart of good science and the newfound tendency of otherwise respectable scientists to disparage global warming skeptics as “corporate shills”, “deniers”, and worse is simply dispicable and outrageous. Just the facts please, and if you don’t agree address the idea, not the person. Of course the *reason* for this approach is that the science behind global warming hysteria is much weaker than advertised – a concern I’d actually rejected until recently.

I don’t think the weakness of the human caused warming hypothesis is enough to throw the basic warming hypothesis into serious doubt, but enough to want more support for human caused warming than we’ve seen so far from heretofore unreliable and non-falsifiable computer modelling and the fact that – since 1998 – the global surface temperature trend is DOWN. This fact is discarded out of hand by climate alarmists but it is important for the very reasons you won’t see discussed at RealClimate. CO2 is going up while temperatures are going down. The models did not anticipate this and there appears to be no good explanation other than the natural variability that is (quite reasonably) invoked to explain a lot of climate fluctuations. But if nature routinely swamps out the effects of human caused CO2 then why are so many suggesting we should forego trillions in GDP to stem the CO2 tide? Why are people deluding themselves into thinking the developing world will go along with our CO2 efforts even as their people clamor for more development?

The answer is simple: They are thinking politically, hysterically, irrationally. OR they aren’t looking at the data. Usually it’s both.

Another preliminary conclusion is that Lomborg’s analyses are spot on.

There is global warming and it’s probably mostly caused by humans but the significance is exaggerated and – most importantly – it is totally unreasonable to assume we’ll be able to do enough reduction of CO2
to make enough of a difference to matter much. Far better to focus on the *existing catastrophic conditions* in much of the developing world than a massive, expensive, quixotic CO2 fight we are going to lose anyway. This is not to suggest we should do *nothing*, rather that we should seek cheap ways to mitigate CO2 while spending the big money on mitigating dead children in the developing world, noting that raising standards in poor countries leads to lower birth rates so even the most Machiavellian or population obsessed among us should support expansion of food and health aid to developing world as long as it reaches the needy.

To Eat or Not to Eat, THAT is the question

I’m trying to attain a BMI of 24.9 so I can rest a little easier knowing I’m at less risk for the various unhappy consequences of being overweight.    The doctor didn’t seem concerned last time I talked to him about this, and now I’m only about 13 pounds from the goal.

This calorie counter at About.com is answering some of the questions I’ve wondered about for some time such as how many calories you need just to maintain your current weight = basal metabolic rate.   For me it’s about 2000 per day, more with more  exercise.

Although that article recommends eating 500 calories less to lose weight I DO NOT agree and think people generally fall off of diets because they are making them too painful.     If, for example, you shave off 100 calories a day from your basal metabolic burn (or exercise another 10 minutes or so), you’ll lose weight over time.  It’ll obviously take longer at 100 calorie deficit per day, but the point is that you are probably a lot more likely to stick to an “easy” diet than a hard one.   More importantly if you can’t shave off a measly 100 calories a day you really need to question what you expect out a harsher diet, which is only going to work if you KEEP OFF THE WEIGHT which means invoke long term lifestyle changes.  100 calories is simply forsaking ONE Tablespoon of oil, a couple pats of butter, a single slice of bread).

Everybody is different but I think a good approach is to start by experimenting with long term lifestyle changes in terms of diet and excersize while keeping track of your weight on a daily basis (yes it’ll fluctuate but it’s good to have a lot of data!).     Your first goal is to find out comfortable ways for you to maintain your weight or lose slightly – sort of a benchmark of the life you’ll be living for the long haul.   When you find that comfortable balance of excersize and enjoyable eating simply shave off 100 calories per day until you hit your desired weight.  If you are inspired to go for more do that, but just focus on the long term healthy lifestyle and not the weight loss part.  DO FOCUS on weight gain, which means you probably miscalculated what you can afford to eat.    I’ve even toyed with the idea of weighing myself every morning when I get up and if I weight MORE than the day before I cannot eat more than 1000 calories that day.    Sticking to that plan will guarantee weight loss, but it’s more severe than I think I need as I’m making progress now with modest reduction in calories and increase in exercise.

Eating healthy can be more enjoyable if you  savor things, eat smaller portions, add fruits and vegetables rather than sweets and carbs)   You do NOT  need to make radical changes but you do need to stick to your guns.    A couple friends of mine have knocked off substantial weight and both did it mostly by simply sticking to their plans which were to limit calorie intake and get modest exercise.    Fancy gimmicks are not your answer – calories and exercise define the whole show so figure out what’s up with your metabolism…. and go baby go !

Celebrity Salaries

Don’t you always wonder what those celebrities make on TV?    Years ago ago I’d read that Vanna White was pulling in about 100k per show for “Wheel of Fortune” (it may be more now), and Pat Sayjak 250,000  (these may be higher now).  This seemed especially remarkable given that Wheel rarely gives away even a tenth of those combined salaries in prize money, and I think *never* has given away as much as the two “stars” earn.    Although I’m not for putting salary caps on stars I think these numbers certainly reflect bizarrely on what we value here in the good old USA.

These are from July 2007 – could not find newer numbers but I’m guessing these are current ballpark as well:

The morale of this story?   Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Production Assistants ….

NETWORK PRIME TIME (salary per episode)

William Petersen, CSI $500,000   Update:  600,000
Update: Keifer Sutherland makes about 500,000 now for “24”
Zach Braff, Scrubs $350,000

Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU $350,000
Chris Meloni, Law & Order: SVU $350,000
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men $350,000
Hugh Laurie, House $300,000  Update: Hugh Laurie’s Salary is rising to $400,000 per episode next season.
Patrick Dempsey, Grey’s Anatomy $225,000
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Old Christine $225,000
Eva Longoria, Desperate Housewives $200,000
Ellen Pompeo, Grey’s Anatomy $200,000
Jeff Foxworthy, Are You Smarter… $150,000
T.R. Knight, Grey’s Anatomy $125,000
Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy $125,000
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters $100,000
Special guest stars per hour episode minimum $6,527
Stand-ins per day minimum $145
Background actors w/ special abilities per day $140
Background actors or “extras” per day $130

NEWS ANCHORS (salary per year)
Katie Couric, CBS Evening News $15 million
Matt Lauer, NBC Today coanchor $12 million
Diane Sawyer                                                              $12 million
Meredith Vieira, NBC Today coanchor $10 million
Brian Williams                                                               $8 million
Anderson Cooper                                                         $5 million
Keith Olbermann, MSNBC anchor $4 million
Harry Smith, CBS The Early Show coanchor $3 million
Ernie Anastos, New York City local news anchor $2 million
Lesley Stahl, CBS 60 Minutes correspondent $1.8 million
Sr producer for network newsmagazine $250,000-$400,000
Average local TV news anchor                                        $75,500
Broadcast news associate entry level $30,000

CABLE (salary per episode)
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer $250,000
Julian McMahon, Nip/Tuck $125,000
Dylan Walsh, Nip/Tuck $125,000
Joely Richardson, Nip/Tuck $90,000
James Roday, Psych $60,000

Oprah Winfrey, per year $260 million*
Judge Judy, per year $30 million
Bob Barker, per year $7 million
Ellen DeGeneres, per year $5 million
Jerry Springer, per year $3-4 million
Tyra Banks, per year $3.5 million
Star performer, daytime drama, per episode $7,500-$9,000
Writer, daily children’s show, per week $5,631
Freelance director, daytime drama, per program $3,726
Writer, daytime drama, per script $3,087
Question writer, quiz show, per week $1,324

* Includes earnings from Rachael RayDr. Phil other TV shows in her empire.

Director, per hr episode min. $35,927
Writer, for story and script, per hr episode $30,823
Staff writer, per wk minimum $2,890
Executive story editor, per episode average $8,500
Crafts services (provides food to cast and crew), per hr $25.40
Film editor, per wk min. $2,575
Sound editor, per wk min. $1,887.94
Music editor, per wk min. $1,887.94
Head makeup artist, per wk $2,271
Head hairstylist, per wk $1,804
Costume designer, per wk min. $2,009.65
Scenic artist, per wk min. $1,840
Microphone boom operator, per day $309.78
Production assistant, per hr $8

Source:  TV Guide

Anonymity is so … 1999

Hoping to start some discussion here about the role (if any!) for anonymity in online environments, especially when people are pitching sales or services.     I’m starting to think I’m pretty much opposed to anonymous stuff in almost all circumstances because it fosters so many of the bad things in the online world, and helps in so few cases.

At Twitter on prominent guy was pitching for $50,000 in startup funding, then appeared to be retweeting his pitch via … at least one fake profile though I can’t be certain it was fake.    However there’s enough deception now at Twitter that it requires almost as much skepticism as we have for bogus email scams.    Skepticism is healthy and good but we need to *reduce it whenever possible* to create more effecient and safe business environments online.     There is *FAR, FAR* too much tolerance of scammers in their various and sundry forms even as search engines work very hard to eliminate those who seek to manipulate their search rankings.

Tangential point here:  Google – I’d argue very evil-y and non-Googley – worries far more about certain SEO tweaks that have little impact  on users than they do about lying and cheating scammers who deceptively advertise using adwords.     In fact we could not even resolve an issue a few years ago where our India Travel website was hacked and payments made to somebody else for adsense advertising.   Google is a lot more interested in protecting their advertisers [cough Cash Cow cough]  than protecting their publishers or their users.    This point is so rock solid I’d like to debate it sometime with a Google person, for although I have a lot of respect for them in some areas I’m pretty much tired to death of the idea they don’t value advertising dollars above pretty much all else.  There are now *thousands* of example of this.    That kind of hubris very deservedly hurt Microsoft’s reputation and it’s starting to hurt Google’s too, though in fairness they are unlikely to *ever* reach the level of opportunism we saw with Microsoft products and services.   In my book Google remains on balance “good guys” and are likely to stay that way – perhaps even as the competition from Bing.com and search upstarts heats up.

More on this Anonymity topic  after the feedback here I’m hoping for…

Challenging Climate Change? You WILL be BURNED at the STAKE! (after we purchase $14 in carbon credits, available online from www ….)

Although I’m very critical of alarmism in Climate Change community it’s important to understand I agree about the following:

There is a Global Warming trend.
The bad consequences of the warming will far outweigh the good ones.
Humans are very likely  to have contributed to the warming , mostly via  CO2 pollution.
We should work to develop  CO2 reduction approaches.

[I just believe that alarmism and catastrophe claims are running rampant and I don’t think there is any likely scenario that will reduce CO2 enough to make much of a difference.    Non controversial studies indicate that much of the warming we are likely to see is now “baked in” to the system.   I think engineering changes are more likely to work than attempts to change the  behavior of people and governments that have historically done very little along the lines needed]

Now for my rant against the unconscionable attack on dissenters from the Climate alarmism “party line”:

As a fan of Paul Krugman’s usually bright and insightful economic analyses at the New York Times I was more than alarmed to read his recent post there where he suggested those who voted agains the cap and trade bill in congress were “betraying the planet” Krugman suggests in the article:

And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.

Treason against the planet?   Given that treason against a mere government is often punishable by the death penalty, Krugman is very close to suggesting that the penalty for climate dissent should be …. death.     To invoke “treason” against those who are presenting concerns about either the science or the alarmism running rampant now in Climate circles is both unacceptable and it is dispicable.   Shame on Krugman and shame on a climate alarmism community that increasingly uses scare tactics, threats, and censorship to promote their climate change agendas.

My first reaction was to excuse Krugman’s obvious ignorance of the many legitimate challenges to alarmist climate  conclusions.  He appears to rely on a recent Copenhagen Climate report that clearly plays more on the politics of climate rather than the recent data points which are anything but alarming.     For example Global ice remains very stable over the past decades.    You’ve read about Arctic sea ice which in fact is lower (though probably no new records this year), but conspicuously the Antarctic – where the ice is increasing – is left off of the alarmist ice analyses.     Surface temperatures?   After 1998’s very hot temperatures we’ve seen moderation.   Caveat:  A pending El Nino current and pending new sunspot cycle are suggested as reasons to worry that we’ll soon see more record hot years and I think these are legitimate points.   Sea Level Rise?   It’s pretty consistently rising, about as much as this  symbol:    |          Per year.      Yes this matters over a long time frame but I think the folks in Florida don’t have to move quite yet.      Hurricanes?    You haven’t heard much in the news about them because …. there haven’t been many.   Despite some silly hype, Katrina the Hurricane had little if anything to do with Global Warming (a good source is Chris Landsea, one of a handful of the world’s most knowlegeable Hurricane researchers and a former IPCC author who appears to have become fed up with the politics.)    More importantly without the levey breaks Katrina would not have been all that significant and that’s mostly a human engineering issue, not a climate one.     What about those big killer Australian fires?   Isn’t that clearly caused by Global Warming?    Well, it may have contributed to their severity but since they were lit by arsonists it seems absurd to say the climate caused them.    Lastly, the models on which most dire predictions depend represent some of the most complex and non- falsifiable hypotheses in the history of science.  The basics are simple and very likely  (CO2 increases will increase temperatures), but the record of these climate model as predictive agents is  very poor.    So poor that model predictions in my view should be considered “informed speculation” more than “science”.     This last point is critical.   We despartely need to focus on finding climate models that predict climate correct ly, not focus on bashing dissenters who note the obvious failures of the current models.

Journalists (and apparently even some Nobel Economists like Krugman) can be excused for relying too heavily on a climate science community that has been seriously compromised by alarmism,  ego problems that came from adversarial “anti science” policies under GW Bush, grant opportunism, an often incestuous peer review process, and far too many cases of statistical shenanigans.    However that by no means excuses the ongoing climate witch hunt that is seeking to burn down dissenters rather than address their many legitimate concerns about how to move into our uncertain future.

Climate alarmists may be right that we are in for catastrophic changes that will ruin the planet.   The data suggests otherwise.   It also suggests it will be nearly impossible to significantly change the climate outcome regardless of how we act now (e.g. if CO2 emmissions stop completely today the models still project lots of warming).

However whatever the viewpoint I won’t stand by while an intellectual mob works to burn dissenters at the stake.     Reason must guide our actions here – not alarmism, emotion, and vengeance.

National Debt? What National Debt?

If you’ve been watching the national news much lately you’ll wonder what ever happened to all the concern about the national debt and the massive budget deficits planned for the next decade.   On the up side however you will be quite an expert in addressing issues relating to repairs to the late Michael Jackson’s nose.  But I digress….

Hey, maybe we solved the debt and deficit spending problems?   Oh.  No.  We.  Didn’t.    We owe 11.5 Trillion and it’s rising faster than an inconveniently untrue  misinterpretation of a globally warmed sea level on a Florida shoreline.   Although it’s true that most economists from most sides felt a stimulus was important, and in fact it appears that has stemmed the tide of a financial death spiral, I think most would agree that as the recovery starts to take shape we need to look long and hard at how much we spend.   The *key cut* is obvious and it is the defense budget, but the legions of fake conservatives (often aka “Loyal Republicans”) who carp about a few million wasted here or there refuse to tackle the defense budget, blinded by an absolutely incomprehensible lack of understanding of basic global strategics which have shown throughout history that seeking massive military superiority has little or no justification.   From the Ming Dynasty’s Great Wall of China to the Viet Nam to Iraq,  “defense” become “offense” and results in massive spending with hugely negative ROI and often just exaggerated the unstable conditions you sought to avoid  (e.g. Afghanistan, Middle East).

Incredibly, the concern about the debt has flipped to paying an extraordinary amount of attention to fixing the problems we don’t have anymore.     Obama was explaining to a crowd yesterday all the things the government is doing now to prevent the financial troubles *we do not have anymore*.     Overvalued real estate?    That ship sailed and sunk.    We are probably near the bottom now, things seem to be picking up a bit, so lets move on.   Financial system?   It’s not in great shape but the catastrophe appears to have been averted.

Yes we need oversight but not a huge bureaucratic encumbrances many Democrats are calling for now- ironically many like Barney Frank who are squarely at fault in this crisis for the crappiest era of congressional oversight in the history of the country.    The system failed to address the risk factors properly for reasons that are slowly becoming clearer – a combination of corporate greed and incentives run amock, defective ideas about how huge economies work, terrible government mismanagement of the regulatory systems, and I think by far and MOST IMPORTANTLY people using their homes as piggy banks, raiding their paper equity from stocks and Real Estate to live at inappropriately high standards, work less, retire too early, buy boats, speculate in MORE stocks and real estate, etc, etc.

We all made this bed  and now we are sleeping in it.   YES, even those of us who did NOT mismanage our finances were involved unless they lived alone on an island and didn’t do any investing, borrowing, or buying during the bubble.

The economy has been reset at a lower, more appropriate levels given all the prevailing circumstances.   Welcome to how economies *really work* and why the risky investments of the bubble were … risky.     But those aren’t the investments people are making now that will put them at risk.    New crops of scams are brewing as we speak and more importantly the debt on our backs is weighing down the future prospects *for our children*.   The massive debt is unconscionable yet we are fretting over things that will have relatively trivial impacts compared to that debt.    The country is acting a lot like the most irresponsible among us during the bubble who simply borrowed and borrowed and spent and spent and now are so far underwater in debt they have *no prospect* of paying things back.

Here’s a site with great debt detail:  http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/pd.htm

Oh, and if you want to get in your two cents and make a $.02 contribution to reduce our national debt there’s a place for that too, it is called “Dept G” in West Virginia.

The cool thing would be that if your $.02  reduced the 11,500,000,000,000.00 to 11,499,999,999,999.98   you would have changed a whole lot of numbers for a buck.     Printing costs alone would more than wash it away though, and you’d have kept the spiral going.   But that’s OK becuase that is how we roll now here in America – we spend like there is no tomorrow.   And then we spend the money that was supposed to be for tomorrow.   And when the spending gets out of hand we …. spend much, much more.