Thursday, May 28, 2009

American Housing Boom & Bust Illustrated

I pulled the assessment records for my house in Bristow, VA. This area was part of the far suburbs of Washington D.C. and experienced the full effect of this market crash. The County of Prince William now has a large amount of foreclosures and has suffered from a massive decline in assessed values. This of course makes it hard for people to sell their houses. Here are the assessments on my house:

2002 -- $237,400
2003 -- $276,900
2004 -- $311,300, I sold the house in August of that year for $370,000
2005 -- $384,100
2006 -- $470,400, the market peaked that year with someone paying $500,000 for a house on my street
2007 -- $421,100
2008 -- $343,600
2009 -- $266,600

I paid $203,000 in 1999 for the house so by 2006 it had increased 113% in price and by 2009 it had decreased 43% from its high. I expect the 2010 value to be lower as there are houses for sale now for around $260,000.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

We Are Still In Germany and Japan Last Time I Checked

Glenn Reynolds highlights GEN Casey's statement that the U.S. Army is prepared to be in Iraq for ten more years. Last time I looked we have been in Germany and Japan about 64 years. I predict we will have a base in Iraq well past 2019.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Another Twitter Movie

This one I made with my own tweets. It is the weirdest yet.

Apple and Intel

I am a firm believer in using AMD chips when I make my own PC. The prices can't really be beat. My primary computer uses Intel but it was an HP I got on the cheap form Buy.com. I just built my sons a PC using an AMD chip, and have built several PC's in the past with them. AMD has always struggled with Intel and now it turns out that even Apple and Intel colluded. This only harms the computer business in the long run as having competition only helps.

Updated to fix spelling and grammar errors.

Random Alabama Thunderstorms

Video of three different thunderstorms that rolled through on 24 May.

video

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pelosi And CIA Face Off

According to the Washington Post there are no definitive accounts of what the CIA told Nancy Pelosi about the use of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EIT). This is good for Nancy and it is good for the CIA. Really if open warfare does break out between the two not only would I root for the CIA but I would think they will win.

One of the major reasons is that if you go to or give a very sensitive briefing there won't be a great deal written down. If you do take notes they become working papers and must be classified, reviewed and stored. Been there and done that and it is always best with this sort of stuff to maintain minimum written papers. Electronic media is even worse and it is so easy to use. I will bet, though, that somewhere in Langley is a definitive account of what was said by whom at the briefings and it will be revealed when necessary.

Nancy needs to go talk to Scooter Libbie and the Plames to see what kind of fire she is playing with, and realize that the CIA will even sacrifice their own to protect themselves.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Second Twitter Movie

Ten more random tweets from around 9:00 PM CDT. This was before surprise American Idol ending so nothing about that.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Newsweek, Spinal Tap and Me

Not to blow my own horn but I made this joke in February in this post. "Spinal Tap on their tour in the movie moved to smaller venues over the big arenas because their manager said they had become more exclusive. Newsweek is using the same excuse. I guess the same old liberal claptrap is more exclusive now."

Now, because of this article by Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post, everyone else is making it. See The Corner here for example.

Heck they even got an Instalaunch. I never did.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thunderstorm in Harvest, Alabama

Some video of the thunderstorm that rolled through yesterday afternoon.

video

Random Twitter Movie

I made a Xtranormal movie by taking ten Tweets off of the Public Timeline from around 13:30 CDT today. I did a little editing for language and added some moves. It is pretty weird.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

One of the World's Longest Running Current Civil War Ends

The Sri Lankan government declared victory today in their twenty-six year civil war with the LTTE movement. After there had been a bloody fight in the Seventies between the Communists and Sri Lankan forces the Tamil minority in the North of the Island decided they needed to be independent.

The Tamil Tiger revolutionary movement has led the fighting for this. The war lasted a long time as the LTTE had support both from the Tamil expat community across the world as well as the Tamil people in India. In the Nineties Rajiv Ghandi tried to solve the problem with intervention and that failed. The LTTE were especially creative in their tactics using small boats especially to disrupt operations off of the coast.

It will be interesting to see how the Tamils are reintegrated into the country as it is estimated that 70,000 or more people have died. Sri Lanka used to be a peaceful backwater of the British Empire who last saw such excitement during WW II where it was a major British base threatened by the Japanese Empire.

Like many such places decolonization and independence led to conflict among the people living there. Perhaps now the country devastated by the Tsunami a few years ago can finally get on with peaceful growth.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How I Know I Am Not Hip

I follow Sarah Bareilles on Twitter because I like her music and her story. She doesn't post very often which is not surprising, but tonight she posted this twitpic. I don't know who this guy is, but lots of people do.

I guess I am not hip.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Arsenal Lose to Chelsea

Unfortunately this week Champions League play continued as Chelsea beat Arsenal 4-1 today. Arsenal should still finish fourth. So there is always next year.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Parker Griffith Set To Be A One Term Congressman

Our old Congressman, Bud Cramer, retired last year and Democrat Parker Griffith was elected. Most likely due to the fact that there was a lot of strait party voting and Obama coat tails helped him. Of course now that Obama has proposed a twenty percent cut to missile defense with severe effects on Huntsville he will likely lose in 2010. The primary job of our Congresspeople is to keep bringing in the defense and NASA dollars to HSV. Without them this area's economy will wither pretty fast -- and it has in the past after NASA ended the moon program and the boom-and-bust in defense spending.

Griffith wrote quickly as reported in the HSV Times "I will work with the administration and my colleagues in Congress to make sure our government is committed to these programs and they understand how vital multilayered missile defense systems like Ground-Based Midcourse Defense, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense and the Standard Missile will always be to our nation and our international allies."

Of course if there is one defense program the liberal Democrats, who now run Washington, hate more then anything it is missile defense. So good luck on that Parker. People kind of told you this when you ran.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Arsenal Fails In Champions League

Arsenal continue their hit or miss play and lose, too easily, 3-1 at home to Man U. Now that team will be in the Champions League final against either Chelsea or Barcelona who play tomorrow. Arsenal were just horrible and it shows that Arshevin has been the spark for the improved play of late, unfortunately he could not play in these games. So wait until next year as there is no winning for Arsenal in anything.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The American Ruling Oligarchy

In the past worked indirectly with Congress, senior civil service, and senior military officers and our friends in the media I have often referred to our ruling class as an Oligarchy. They are a group who believe they are entitled to a great deal more then your or I all the while making decisions for the rest of us to just deal with. Not that some of them aren't motivated for the right reasons they just come to expect better treatment and services.

In the to-do over First Lady Obama's $540 French tennis shoes (I don't know maybe they are a gift or she got 'em on a discount) Instapundit coins the phrase THE NOMENKLATURA always get nice shoes..

The Nomenklatura were the Soviet ruling class who had better shops then the average comrade and could go overseas to buy stuff. In a way it is a pretty good term to describe our ruling elite.