Friday, October 01, 2010

One simple act

(Via the Drudge Report)

"For want of a nail a shoe was lost". If you're of a certain age, you know that old proverb, and you understand its meaning: A single small event can lead to unforeseen and potentially disastrous consequences.

The report on the "flash crash" of May 6, 2010, where the NYSE dropped hundreds of points in a very few minutes, is out. According to the report, a single trade triggered a cascade of events that has had people staying up late trying to figure out why and how it happened.

Sure, the market recovered. But what if it hadn't, and that crash became long term? (Spare me the explanation of the "circuit breakers". IMHO, those were put in place so that Joe Average didn't jerk his money out of the markets in 1989 because they were "too risky". It could happen despite the circuit breakers--it just takes a few minutes longer. Computers trade fast, but you'd be amazed at how fast humans trade when assisted by computers.)

Given our recent discussion of hyperinflation and how easily it could start, this really ought to make people very uncomfortable. Wiggly, even.

Are you squared away--just in case?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Our Hero speaks

Yesterday I blogged about a trio of robbers who suffered a catastrophic failure in the victim selection process when they tried to rob a Charlotte, NC restaurant.

Today, we get the details, including an interview with our still anonymous Hero.

Sir, if you should happen by my bitty corner of the Intertubz, please accept my gratitude for dispensing a few drops of chlorine into the gene pool. You are a Hero in the true meaning of the word--scared, but saddling up anyway.

And I would like you all to note all he did and all he took before going to his gun. North Carolina, with its screwy laws on self-defense, pretty much puts its citizens into this position every day. We need a "stand your ground" law passed and signed, and we need it in the upcoming legislative session. I suspect one will be introduced. (Yes, we're trying again.) If you're a citizen of the Old North State, I'll place a notice here so you can write and call your elected representative and support it.

And Pizza Hut, if you should happen by, if I find out this man gets fired by you, I will do everything in my power to make you pay right through the cash register, and not just in Charlotte. I may not accomplish much, but I mostly surely will saddle up and see what I can do to cost you dollars and cents in as many cities and towns as possible.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Poverty stats

How blue is your state? I know mine is definitely hurting, and a lot of folks around here are quite blue about it.

(Snarky aside--I love how blue is used to indicate poverty. Terribly appropriate. I'm just amazed some smart leftist graphic artist didn't select red. I mean, we all know that the Republicans are out to hack the "social safety net" *gack* into little bitty pieces, just so they can create more poor folks to exploit as labor in their sweatshop factories, where small furry critters are abused just to make obscene profits.)

Now here's something uplifting

(From The Email List That Shall Not Be Named)

Hyperinflation and how it might start. Be sure to read carefully the part about "how it will happen". I don't grant the author a crystal ball, and I suspect there are many roads that lead to that place. But it's worth noting just how fast we could go from here (mild deflation) to there (hyperinflation). While I'm hardly a financial expert, I do know enough to be able to say that it really could happen as he says, and just that fast.

The take-away is that, in all probability, you will not have time to "stock up" as so many people seem to think they will have. First, there is the simple fact that if everyone tried to stock up at the same time the stores would be empty. Ever seen a grocery store when a hurricane or a big snowstorm was predicted? Yeah.

Second, you may well not have the days/weeks of warning that most people inexplicably expect to have before a drastic "Change" event occurs. While financial meltdown is the current bogeyman, I can think of several other scenarios that could hit just as fast, with likelihoods ranging from terrorist attack to large meteor impact.

If your going to prepare, do it now. The last place you need to be if the financial SHTF in the middle of the day is in a store with a bunch of panicky people who have been caught flat-footed and are trying desperately to buy enough food to "ride it out".

I'll take an extra large Self-Defense pizza to go, please

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are continuing the search Tuesday afternoon for a suspect wanted in connection with an attempted restaurant robbery Monday night in east Charlotte that ended with two others suspects being shot to death by an employee.

The robbers entered at closing time, forced the employees into the cooler and began beating one of them. Fortunately, Our Hero realized the high danger that he (or she, we don't know) faced, and had the appropriate tools at hand with which to successfully defend their life and that of their fellow employee.

It's my personal belief that, if you are ever being robbed, and the bad guys try to force you to go anywhere other than where you are, they mean to do you grave harm. Stand up and fight. You may not be as fortunate as Our Hero, but it's better than being the guest of honor at an execution.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

As Dilbert once said

There is a technological fix for everything.

While running down the blogroll (something I don't do as often as I should these days), I hit The Armed Citizen, who you may remember is having issues with the bottom-dwelling scum that is Righthaven LLC. In their latest thoughts on the subject, they note that there is a useful Firefox add-on along with a list by Claton Cramer of sites owned by those who are enabling the afore-mentioned bottom-dwellers.

So in addition to being much more careful about quoting from legacy media sites these days (I've always been careful; part of my job is understanding copyright issues, but extra care can't hurt), can can now be somewhat certain that I won't stumble into a nest of vipers accidentally.

Taxpayer to Buffett: Get over yourself

(Via the Drudge Report)

Man, but I hate it when some rich bastard, who would still be rich if you took 99% of his money, tells all us proles that "it is not helpful to have people as unhappy as they are about what’s going on in Washington."

Stick it in your...ear..., Warren. I'll be just as unhappy as I want to, and now, even a little unhappier.

We are redeemed!

Browncoats, the hour of our redemption is at hand!

The Firefly fan movie Browncoats: Redemption is here and is available for pre-"order" (technically, you're giving a donation to charity and getting the DVD as a gift). They also have a nifty t-shirt. Geek that I am, I ordered both. Hey, it's just money, right?

They do need to update their website a bit, since some text sounds like "It's shipping NOW!" and some still refers to pre-orders. However, The Signal podcast confirms in episode 14.4 that it has been released and is shipping. Go be a Big Damn Hero and buy a copy.