Misery Index Two
US Deficit (% of GDP)
US Trade Deficit (% GDP)
$0.20 (baseline 0%)
Fed Income (top margin)
Total MI2 (sum of %)
US GDP Growth
Total JI (%)
5.25 (other data is baseline)
Now let's revisit my predictions from Dec. 2000, one month before GW Bush was sworn in.
**** Flashback to Dec 2000 ******
Given current trends, I would predict:
1. recession over the next year, due to the anti-business policies of the previous Admin finally bearing fruit (taxes, regulation, Justice Dept. breakups of companies and induced market jitters).
2. Also, we can expect the US Deficit to increase, to rebuild the military and energy production facilities that have been allowed to decay under Clinton and fuel his economic "recovery".
3. This will all, of course, be blamed on the ineptitude of Bush. Which is why it would have been interesting to see what the blame meisters would have done to Gore.
*********** End Flashback **************
Well, we're in the recession which no one believed existed when I wrote this. The President just submitted a budget after his State of the Union that will have a deficit - largely to rebuild the military. And the state of CA suffered the predictable outcome of not investing in it's energy future, something which will hit the rest of the US if we don't develop our resources. And it's all GW's fault - of course - even if he was not in office when the ground was laid.
OK, so your author goes another 3/3. What is remakable is
that not only did my predicitons come to pass, but for the
very reasons I suggested. When you have a model and can make
quantifiable predictions from that model, then you have an
understanding approaching a science. Which gives yet even
more proof, as if anymore was needed, that reading this rag
gives you the news before it happens.
1. Matt forwards this on the Ring issue.
> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATED
JAN. 6, 2002
> THE LIBERTARIAN, By Vin Suprynowicz
> His noblest fantasy had little to do with elves and wizards
> I'm hardly the first to note that Professor J.R.R. Tolkien's modern
> classic "Lord of the Rings" -- or the new and successful film now born
> thereof -- have a strong and unusual political subtext.
> " 'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,' which opens
> tomorrow, is a terrific movie about politics," wrote James Pinkerton of
> Long Island's Newsday on Dec. 18.
> "Why?" the columnist continued. "Because it's about power. And that's
> what politics is all about: power -- and the temptations that confront the
> powerful. Always. And there's no real solution, at least not in this world."
> Mr. Pinkerton's premise is correct, though whether he is equally correct
> in his cynical conclusion has (I would argue) yet to be determined. Prof.
> Tolkien -- the author taught ancient Anglo-Saxon language and literature at
> Oxford for half a century -- certainly gave his mythical hero another
> Pinkerton appears to be no fan. [... ranting about bad review elided ...]
> Tolkien's surefootedness in the cadences of the genre stemmed from his
> ability to recite "Beowulf" and the Icelandic sagas from which his mythic
> creations flowed ... in the original language. (It's reliably reported he
> would actually hold conversations in Anglo-Saxon, a language otherwise
> thoroughly dead, at table with his students of an evening in the college
> dining hall. And when his editors complained that he had used the wrong
> plural for "dwarf" -- the 1938 Oxford English Dictionary preferring
> "dwarfs" -- who but Tolkien could have replied, "Yes, I have changed my
> mind since I wrote the dictionary"?) But the true greatness of this trilogy
> (yes, there are two more movies to come) arises from the deft way the
> author managed to bind in a theme otherwise alien to those great
> precursors, as surely as Sauron bound his subjects with the "gift" of the
> Rings of Power.
> For most great English literature has been about restoring proper
> government power (always favoring the legitimacy of the ancestors of
> whatever patrons were footing the bill) -- read the thanes of Shakespeare's
> "MacBeth" arguing that any foible can be forgiven in a king so long as he
> can rule with a strong hand, preserving the land from anarchy.
> But "The Lord of the Rings" is not about restoring the metaphoric Ring of
> Power to the rightful king. Rather, we see Frodo the ringbearer -- an
> open-faced hobbit in homespun making the most seemingly unlikely champion,
> except for the fact that hobbits are the creatures in all Middle Earth
> least likely to be seduced by the promise of power -- offer the ring to
> each of the good wizards and elf queens and royal heirs of his world, in
> Those who succumb to temptation come to bad ends. The test of goodness
> and worth -- in this film as in the book -- is the ability to say "No" to
> the offer of unlimited power, to declare, as does Gandalf the Gray (Ian
> McKellen), "Oh, I would use this ring in an attempt to do good. But through
> me, it would wield a terrible power. ..."
> Frodo's quest is not to deliver the One Ring to the right king, but
> rather to haul it back to the mountain of fire where it was forged in
> darkness, and destroy it.
> What's that? Not merely to reassign government power to its rightful
> heirs, but to reduce and limit it for all time? To declare that the
> solution is not merely to make sure "the right party" manipulates the
> existing levers of power, but rather that such unrestricted power is to be
> banished from the globe for good, setting men free to seek their own mortal
> (albeit often misguided) destinies?
> This is the conclusion Prof. Tolkien drew after watching Europe wracked
> by 30 years of (briefly interrupted) total war between the struggling
> factions of fascism and collectivism.
> It's also -- coincidentally enough -- what America's founders attempted
> 215 years ago, when they set about constructing a government "of limited
> powers, sharply defined."
> Do most of our present-day rulers still share that vision? Is it a common
> thing to walk into a federal court these days and find a judge scratching
> his head and declaring, "You know, the defendant has a point -- I can't
> seem to find any specifically delegated power in Article I Section 8 of the
> Constitution for the Congress to enact laws or create agencies to meddle in
> this field of human endeavor, at all. I thereby rule this entire section of
> the federal code to be unconstitutional and null and void, and order the
> agency whose agents have brought these charges to be dissolved forthwith.
> Issue yourselves severance checks, turn out the lights and lock the doors;
> case dismissed"?
> Of course not. Because the Libertarians and Constitutionalists who argue
> in America today that the goal and raison d'etre of this government from
> its founding was to (start ital)limit(end ital) central power in order to
> maximize individual freedom, get about as much respect and attention from
> today's swordbearers -- anxious to centralize everything from bank account
> reporting procedures to airport security -- as did Tolkien's little hobbits
> from the dark lord Sauron.
> Our eventual success today -- against such a fearful array of forces,
> once supposed to stand as "checks and balances" one against another --
> looks about as likely as that of little Frodo's lonely pilgrimage to Mordor.
> Time will tell. Till then, we can always go see the movie.
> Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas
> Review-Journal. Subscribe to his monthly newsletter by sending $96 to
> Privacy Alert, 561 Keystone Ave., Suite 684, Reno, NV 89503 -- or dialing
2. And long time lurker but rare contributor Rene' sends this
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 19:10:55 -0500
From: Renee Redman <email@example.com>
To: LANGER STEVEN C <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [Fwd: Anti-Evo Legislation in WA]
Here you go Steve. A new battle to fight. Hope all is
well with you and your
fabulous wife. Mike and I so enjoyed seeing the 2 of you at the reunion. I
hope we can get together sometime in 2002. If you need sunny weather -- come
James Balhoff wrote:
> New Anti-Evolution Legislation Introduced in
> On January 18, 2002 a new anti-evolution bill was introduced in the
>Washington State Senate and referred to the Education Committee. According to
>the bill's digest, SB 6500: "Finds that the teaching of the theory of
>evolution in the common schools of the state of Washington is repugnant to the
>principles of the Declaration of Independence and thereby unconstitutional and
>unlawful. Provides that all textbooks and curriculum that teach the theory of
>evolution shall be removed from the public schools forthwith and replaced with
>textbooks and curriculum that teach the self-evident truth of creation."
> The sponsor of this bill also introduced SB 6058, calling for an
>Alabama-style evolution disclaimer in textbooks, in 2001. That bill has not
>yet been taken up by the Education Committee, as of this date.
> Full text of the bill available at:
3. Sheryl submits the following mini-econ-lecture.
>> Dairy Economics
>>DEMOCRAT: You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. You feel guilty for
> >being successful. You vote people into office who put a tax on your
> >cows, forcing you to sell one to raise money to pay the tax. The people
> >you voted for then take the tax money, buy a cow and give it to your
> >neighbor. You feel righteous. Barbara Streisand sings for you.
> >SOCIALIST: You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to
> >your neighbor. You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.
> >REPUBLICAN: You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. So?
> >COMMUNIST: You have two cows. The government seizes both and provides
> >you with milk. You wait in line for hours to get it. It is expensive and
> >CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one, buy a bull,
> >and build a herd of cows.
> >DEMOCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE: You have two cows.! The government taxes you
> >to the point you have to sell both of them to support a man in a foreign
> >country who has only one cow, which was a gift from your government.
> >BUREAUCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE: You have two cows. The government takes
> >them both, shoots one, milks the other, pays you for the milk, then
> >pours the milk down the drain.
> >AMERICAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You sell one, lease it back to
> >yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one. You force the 2 cows to produce
> >the milk of four cows. You are surprised when one cow drops dead. You
> >spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have downsized and are
> >reducing expenses. Your stock goes up.
> >FRENCH CORPORATION: You have two cows. You go on strike because you want
> >three cows. You go to lunch. Life is good.
> >JAPANESE CORPORATION: You have two cows. You redesign them so they are !
> >one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
> >They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains. Most are at the top
> >of their class at cow school.
> >GERMAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You reengineer them so they are
> >all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a
> >hundred miles an hour. Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of
> >vacation per year.
> >ITALIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows but you don't know where they
> >are. While ambling around, you see a beautiful woman. You break for
> >lunch. Life is good.
> >RUSSIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You count them and learn you
> >have five cows. You have some more vodka. You count them again and learn
> >you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 12 cows. You
> >stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka. You produce your
> >10th, 5-year! plan in the last 3 months. The Mafia shows up and takes
> >over however many cows you really have.
> >TALIBAN CORPORATION: You have all the cows in Afghanistan, which is two.
> >You don't milk them because you cannot touch any creature's private
> >parts. At night when no one is looking, you have sex with both of them.
> >Then you kill them and claim a US bomb blew them up while they were in
> >the hospital.
> >POLISH CORPORATION: You have two bulls. Employees are regularly maimed
> >and killed attempting to milk them.
> >FLORIDA CORPORATION: You have a black cow and a brown cow. Everyone
> >votes for the best looking one. Some of the people who like the brown
> >one best vote for the black one. Some people vote for both. Some people
> >vote for neither. Some people can't figure out how to vote at all.
> >Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which is the best
> >looking one.>
> >NEW YORK CORPORATION:
> >You have fifteen million cows. You have to choose which one will be the
> >leader of the herd, so you pick some fat cow from Arkansas.
1. Jan 30, Seattle: Over the past 4 years, private citizen Tim Eyman has succeeded in getting on average one anti-tax proposition per year on the November ballot. The first, I695, replaced a value based vehicle registration with a flat $32 fee per vehicle. A second part of that proposition said that future tax increases over 1% would have to be approved by a state referendum. However, the state constitution prohibits multiple pieces of legislation on one proposition, so the next year Eyman introduced another separate bill for the tax rule. Both of them passed, and as a result state tax revenue is dropping.
This year Eyman has another proposition that is in
the signature gathering phase that would prohibit local
govts from raising property taxes more than 1%/year without
a referendum. A keystone of Eyman's public appeal was that
he was volunteering his time and not taking any salary from
donations to his PAC "Permanent Offensive". Now, it turns
out that Eyman took over $40K last year and was going to
transfer another $130K this year. This is not illegal under
Washington campaign rules, organizers are allowed to take a
salary. But, sadly, Eyman lied about it and as a resut has
endangered the anti-tax initiatives he sponsors.
1. San Diego, Jan 15: The city has passed a law that all international airport security officers be US citizens. In a border town with Mexico with a large workforce composed of people on work visas, this is not going over well. So, in spite of the announced Federal intention to pass the same requirement, the airport workers union and the ACLU are suing the new rule as unconstitutional.
1. NY City, 18 Jan: The New York Times reports that a
recent Antarctic Expedition has found that the ice sheet is
thickening. The implications on the globall warming trend
are not immediately clear.
1. Jan 21: In the State of the Union address, Bush Jr. proposed a Freedom Corps. This is in addition to the Peace Corps (JFK), and AmeriCorps (Clinton). One wonders with all the new volunteer Corps that are springing up, and requestes to donate more and more time, when are people going to take care of themselves?
18 Jan: While serving as a B52 pilot in the Afghanistan
operations, a female Lt. Col. in the US Air Force was
ordered to wear a veil when off base. This came at the
request of the Saudi govt. She feels that her religioss
freedom is being contravened by the order from the Air
Force, and is sueing under her first ammendment rates.
People sometimes come to me and say, "Steve, what rambling rants, how is this all connected?" The one common thread to this rag is that it fights tyranny: by govts, business, or liberal idealists painting their idealogy under cover of science. Ergo the following.
1. Some more marketing news from our friends on the Sammamish plains.
The following publically posted memo is illustrative of several points. One is the author's admission that in many shops, the evil competitor gains a foothold in the business from the ground up - meaning that the actual people who do the work (and know what they need) overide managment decisions. This is considered by the author as a bad thing.
Second, in IIb-c the author comments on how evil it is that there are spys in his org, and yet points out that his org has spys in their competitors camps in order to gain info that "will lead to wins"
Finally, the author says in secton IIIa that an
independant auditor _will_ prove that we are better. It must
be nice to have utter confidence in the outcome of an
"independant" review before it is done.
From: --Brian --Valentine
Sent: --Wed --12/26/2001 7:14 PM
To: Sales, Marketing & Services Group
Subject: --Me again -- Linux updates
Now that the whole world knows we are taking
Linux seriously based on the leak of my last email... Wait -- stop there -- since
when did they think we weren't taking them serious?!? Did they think we are not going
to build the best products possible? Did they think we were going to just be fat,
dumb and happy and not continue to win business? Did they think we were going to
forget about taking care of our customers??? NO!
Who do they think we are? We have the best d*mn
sales force in the world backed by the best engineers in the world -- of course
we will take any non-Windows OS serious. The thing about the leak that made me
mad was not that we would legitimize Linux, etc. it's good in some places, we are
better, and it's not very good in other places and we are much better. but they are a
competitor and we will compete. What made me mad was that my friends -- some of
you and some of our customer's names where in that email and then available
for all to see on the web. That made me mad. I want you selling and supporting our
products -- not having to take random calls, emails, etc from the press and
others and I know what out customers share with us is in confidence that we will
keep it internal. I have no problem any random Linux person sending me hate mail, junk
mail, adding my email address to every list server out there, you name it --
that comes with the job, but I don't want my friends to have to deal with the same junk.
Linux is out there in some of your accounts and you
may not know it. The ground up
nature of how Linux is introduced into our accounts means that we need to modify our traditional approaches of finding out about Linux in our customer base. We have to be more hands on and dig deeper in your
Many Linux projects in CAS and Depth accounts
happen below the IT
Manager/BDM level. It's crucial that you get out there with your TSP/SE/MCS folks
and do actual walkthroughs in your accounts. Ask open ended questions; find out
what they're evaluating for both key projects as well as smaller, more tactical
projects. Ask about the 'connector' pieces -- you'll potentially find Linux in these
areas. This is a great way to not only find out about Linux, but also other IT projects
that may include Novell, Sun, Oracle, and other competitors! If you are struggling
with how to do this, then do the simple exercise of walking through you accounts
data centers and when you see a Sun or IBM machine, ask what it's used for, if you
see some strange servers you don't what they are doing -- ask what is running on
them and take notes. I would like to challenge each of you to have these
conversations with your customer as soon as you can. Oh -- and you can bet
anyplace IBM is talking to your accounts, they are saying Linux and switching to
higher end non-pc systems. With the current economic times we are living in, just
about every customer is looking into how they can get rid of those over-priced,
legacy Unix systems and ride the PC economics wave. We need to be there when
they are making these decisions and prove to them the Windows platform is the best
platform for them across any aspect of their
I want you to know just how seriously we're taking
Linux here in Redmond. We're
investing major efforts in creating easier processes and resources for you.
I. To start, we have expanded the in-field
Linux Competitive Champ program and
renamed it "Linux Insiders". Like the other TSP
Champs programs, it has been
changed to use the new TSP role-based database
and will be ready to roll out with
its new name at the Envision event in
January. It is up to each regional TSP
manager to select or assign each
member; therefore, anyone wishing to become an
Insider should see their manager to be signed
up. Much like the support
"communities" that define the Linux experience,
the FCS team will strive to build a
community to cooperate in winning business
against Linux. By building a virtual
team of field staff and corporate resources, we
will enable the field to have one
place to go for communication and competitive
information. The Linux Insiders will
have access to a centralized web site where
personnel can request help, route
issues, and share best practices that the
entire field can leverage. This site, a
restricted sub-set of the http://infoweb/linux
site, will be accessible by all "Insiders,"
for items such as SLT reviews, web-casts, notes
from conference calls and other
sensitive information. If you have questions
about the Insiders program, please email
Kelly File of the FCS team at mailto:kellyfi.
II. Second, I'd like to announce the new
Linux/UNIX escalation process that is being
headed up by [MS Enterprise & Partner Group VP]
Charles Stevens' organization.
Here's how it works:
a. First, make sure you check out the latest
additions to the Web sites:
b. If you can't find what you need there,
involve your local expert: the district Linux
or Sun Insider (TSPs with Linux and/or Sun
competitive responsibilities). These
Insiders have the expertise and the resources
to help you win. You can find your
local Insider on the web sites.
c. If you still need help for Global, Strategic
and Major accounts, the Linux/Sun
Insiders (or your GM) can escalate the issue to
the new corporate Linux/Unix
Escalation Team. Let me emphasize that you need
to work with your local Insider or
your GM because they have direct access to this
escalation team. The team is
committed to provide an initial response within
one working day. These guys have
in-depth UNIX industry backgrounds and have
been winning against UNIX and
Linux. The product development organization
will be working closely with this team
to make sure you have all the resources you
III. Finally, we're working hard to debunk the
myths around Linux. We're
approaching this in waves.
a. The first wave will attack the perception
that Linux is free. To that effect, we'll
have an independent analysis commissioned by DH
Brown looking at a very
popular topic these days -- server
consolidation. If you're not seeing this yet, you
probably will. IBM is proposing to use
Mainframes running many virtual instances of
Linux as a low cost server consolidation
scenario for file and print, messaging, and
database activities. The DH Brown report will
be customer ready and will help your
customer understand just how competitive
Microsoft is in this arena.
b. The second wave will be a full blown cost
analysis comparison case study
between Linux and Windows in a variety of usage
scenarios (web, file and print,
etc.) done independently by the analysts for
us. ETA for this tool is in May and it
will be a great tool to help you sell the value
of Windows solutions over Linux. If you
have any questions on this study, please email
the mailto:lnxteam alias.
You can expect us to turn up the volume on
winning against Linux, as well as IBM.
There is some great cross team work between
PMG, SMG, and CMG marketing
groups to ensure we're addressing your needs
and believe me, that feedback goes
directly to me and the senior leadership team
so we can build better products to
help you win against Linux!