Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Supply and Demand Rules the Market

For all you folks out there that believe that the market behaves in an arbitrary totally irrational manner get an education by reading the following article posted at The Undercurrent where Kristina Saraka writes that the market is ruled by the law of supply and demand, the fundamental principle of economics.

In July, rioters laid siege to several Pakistani stock exchanges to protest declining prices in the stock market. At the Karachi Stock Exchange, a mob of small investors destroyed equipment and files, smashed windows, and burned tires in a rage over falling prices.

In a similarly-themed if less violent protest, two little girls in Utah, upset that their parents could no longer afford cable television due to increased gas prices, recently marched around downtown Salt Lake City with signs protesting the price of gas. One girl explained, “Gas prices are too high. I just decided to come and protest so they’d go down.” Most would agree that this is a childish way to attempt to change prices, yet many adults share the basic idea on which the protest is based.

Both the Pakistani rioters’ and the girls’ protests are rooted in the idea that the market, and in particular, prices, are arbitrary. They believe that stock exchange executives or foreign investors or the oil companies set prices to any level they choose—and that therefore, the effective response to rising or falling prices is simply to demand that someone change the prices back to the desired higher or lower level.This view of prices—that producers can set whatever prices they wish without consequence—is fundamentally mistaken. If producers could really set prices per their whims, why did oil companies wait so long to start selling oil at $100+ a barrel? Why, only a few years ago, did they choose to sell oil at less than $20 a barrel rather than rake in the profits at a higher price? If businesses can name their prices...(Read the rest here).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Not Color of Your Skin but the Content of Your Character

America has arrived at a good place. A place where anyone can be anything they want to be. All success depends on now is the content of your character and NOT the color of your skin. With a black President there are now no more excuses for not succeeding in life. Read this article written by Walter Williams.

Despite the fact that President-elect Barack Obama's vision for our nation leaves a lot to be desired, the fact that he was elected represents a remarkable national achievement. When the War of 1861 ended, neither a former slave nor slave owner would have believed it possible for a black to be elected president in a mere century and a half, if ever. I'm sure that my grandparents, born in the 1880s, or my parents, born in the 1910s, would not have believed it possible for a black to be president and neither did I for most of my 72 years.

That's not the only progress. If one totaled black earnings, and consider blacks a separate nation, he would have found that in 2005 black Americans earned $644 billion, making them the world's 16th richest nation. That's just behind Australia but ahead of Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland. Black Americans have been chief executives of some of the world's largest and richest cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Gen. Colin Powell, appointed Joint Chief of Staff in October 1989, headed the world's mightiest military and later became U.S. Secretary of State, and was succeeded by Condoleezza Rice, another black. A few black Americans are among the world's richest people and many are some of the world's most famous personalities. These gains, over many difficult hurdles, speak well not only of the intestinal fortitude of a people but of a nation in which these gains were possible. They could not have been achieved anywhere else.

Acknowledgement of these achievements is not to deny that a large segment of the black community faces enormous problems. But as I have argued, most of today's problems have little or nothing to do with racial discrimination...(Capitalism Magazine).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Man The Discoverer, Creator, Inventor, Space Traveller

It is in terrible times like these that Man must not be shackled by the powerlusters and deal makers and the socialists. The author Ayn Rand captured the cause of our advancement and it isn't the government and its manipulations and regulations of the market place. Think of that come January 20, 2009.

“Thousands of years ago, the first man discovered how to make fire. He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light. He was considered and evildoer who had dealt with a demon mankind dreaded. But thereafter men had fire to keep them warm, to cook their food, to light their caves. He had left them a gift they had not conceived and he had lifted darkness off the earth. Centuries later, the first man invented the wheel. He was probably torn on the rack he had taught his brothers to build. He was considered a transgressor, who ventured into forbidden territory. But thereafter, men could travel past any horizon. He had left them a gift they had not conceived and he had opened the roads of the world.

“That man, the unsubmissive and first, stands in the opening chapter of every legend mankind has recorded about its beginning. Prometheus was chained to a rock and torn by vultures—because he had stolen the fire of the gods. Adam was condemned to suffer—because he had eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Whatever the legend, somewhere in the shadows of its memory mankind knew that its glory began with one and that that one paid for his courage.

“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received—hatred. The great creators—the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors—stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.” The Fountainhead - written by Ayn Rand.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Diesel Fuel Produced by Tree Fungus - The Future?

The whole theory of how crude oil was made over eons of time may be turned on its head. If what this article says pans out we could have a whole revolution regarding the production of oil. And after all Oil is King. Read article below.

( -- A unique fungus that makes diesel compounds has been discovered living in trees in the rainforest, according to a paper published in the November issue of Microbiology. The fungus is potentially a totally new source of green energy and scientists are now working to develop its fuel producing potential.

"This is the only organism that has ever been shown to produce such an important combination of fuel substances," said Professor Gary Strobel from Montana State University. "The fungus can even make these diesel compounds from cellulose, which would make it a better source of biofuel than anything we use at the moment."

The fungus, which has been named Gliocladium roseum, produces a number of different molecules made of hydrogen and carbon that are found in diesel. Because of this, the fuel it produces is called "myco-diesel".

"Gliocladium roseum lives inside the Ulmo tree in the Patagonian rainforest. We were trying to discover totally novel fungi in this tree by exposing its tissues to the volatile antibiotics of the fungus Muscodor albus. Quite unexpectedly, G. roseum grew in the presence of these gases when almost all other fungi were killed. It was also making volatile antibiotics. Then when we examined the gas composition of G. roseum, we were totally surprised to learn that it was making a plethora of hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon derivatives. The results were totally unexpected and very exciting and almost every hair on my arms stood on end!"

Many microbes produce hydrocarbons. Fungi that live in wood seem to make a range of potentially explosive compounds. In the rainforest, G. roseum produces lots of long chain hydrocarbons and other biological molecules. When the researchers grew it in the lab, it produced fuel that is even more similar to the diesel we put in our cars.

"When crops are used to make biofuel they have to be processed before they can be turned into useful compounds by microbes," said Professor Strobel. "G. roseum can make myco-diesel directly from cellulose, the main compound found in plants and paper. This means if the fungus was used to make fuel, a step in the production process could be skipped."

Cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose make up the cell walls in plants. Lignin is the glue that holds the cellulose fibres together and makes the plant stand up. These compounds form the part of the plant that most animals cannot digest. They makes up non-foodstuffs like stalks, sawdust and woodchip. Nearly 430 million tonnes of plant waste are produced from just farmland every year; a huge amount to recycle. In current biofuel production, this waste is treated with enzymes called cellulases that turn the cellulose into sugar. Microbes then ferment this sugar into ethanol that can be used as a fuel.

"We were very excited to discover that G. roseum can digest cellulose. Although the fungus makes less myco-diesel when it feeds on cellulose compared to sugars, new developments in fermentation technology and genetic manipulation could help improve the yield," said Professor Strobel. "In fact, the genes of the fungus are just as useful as the fungus itself in the development of new biofuels."

"The discovery also questions our knowledge of the way fossil fuels are made. The accepted theory is that crude oil, which is used to make diesel, is formed from the remains of dead plants and animals that have been exposed to heat and pressure for millions of years," said Professor Strobel. "If fungi like this are producing myco-diesel all over the rainforest, they may have contributed to the formation of fossil fuels." Source: Society for General Microbiology.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Even Without Obama - We are Heading Toward Fascism!

There used to be a time when Americans might have known what government control of the economy meant - but that time is over and we are willingly going to the guillotine.

According to Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, “In herding banking executives into a room and making them an offer they couldn’t refuse, the Paulson regime took its latest and most disturbing step yet on the path to state control of the economy.

“If fascism means coercive state control over nominally private property, then there is no more chilling sign of creeping fascism in America than government’s encroachment on the lifeblood of the U.S. economy--its financial institutions. While the government assures us it will be a ‘passive investor,’ merely funneling cash into the banking system rather than dictating how banks function, this is a lie. Not only does the money come with strings attached--such as restrictions on executive compensation, dividend payments, and the types of investments banks can make--but politicians are already promising a web of further controls. As John McCain recently noted, ‘We will not merely inject billions of dollars into companies and walk away hoping for the best. We will require that those companies be reformed and restructured until they are sound assets again, and can be sold at no loss--or perhaps even a profit--to the taxpayers of America.’ (READ)

Will We pay Dearly for Placing Obama at the Helm?

Robert Tracinski does a masterful job of explaining the contradictions in Obama's character. Throughout this long and never ending campaign Obama has been a chamaleon, changing his stance on a long list of issues. He had a mix of influences on his political nurturing most importantly his associations with the murky world of ultra leftist politics in Chicago which included Saul Alinsky his Marxist "rabble rouser" to his "spiritual rabble rouser" the Reverend Wright. This is important and not to be snuffed at. We have never had a President who has been molded in this leftist marxist view of the world. Following is a small quote from a larger article by Tracinski which you would do well to read in its entirety.

"In Ayn Rand's essay 'For the New Intellectual', she described two types of villains who have sought dictatorial power throughout history: "Attila" and the "Witch Doctor" - the brute who attempts to gain power through muscle and the fraud who attempts to gain power through spiritual manipulation. These two archetypes represent the two major influences on Barack Obama's path to political power."

"This is a powerful and dangerous combination, and it is one that we cannot allow anywhere near the presidency of the United States. It is an Office that requires firm convictions about liberty and about the irreplaceable value of America. It cannot be held by a man who has turned his soul into the spiritual zero necessary to gain power." (Robert Tracinski writing in The Intellectual Activist).