Friday, October 31, 2014

Rate of Returns and Not Scare-Tactics is How High Global Warming Evanglistis Need to Sell Alternative Energy like Solar

This is exactly what environmentalists need to do to sell their ideas to the investment community.

In other words, Altus quickly morphed from using its own money for demos to selling investments in its building projects to commercially minded investors. And the principals developed a sales pitch that eschews talk of rising sea levels in favor of terms like IRR (internal rate of return) and cash flow. “The question any investor asks is how much cash flow they’ll receive,” Norell says. “We have delivered annual returns of 8 to 10 percent to our investors.” (The offering documents he showed me bore that claim out.) And in a world of exceedingly low interest rates—a 10-year U.S. government bond pays interest of only about 2 percent per year—that’s quite appealing.
 They don't have to appeal to scare-tactics that global warming will make the seas 100 feet higher by 2020 or other nonsense. This company Altus, is putting solar panels on roofs and cashing in tax credits and creating a revenue stream out of the power. This revenue stream is pretty solid and recession-proof too because these building owners will be paying their power bill in good times and bad. Also they probably won't be taking these panels off of their roofs if they are cutting their electricity bill by $200,000.

The only thing that would sink Altus would be a cut on solar subsidies. They need some powerful Democratic backers and this kind of thing might appeal to the GOP as well. That party doesn't like the idea of big government going to patronage like Solyndra but public/private partnerships is what the GOP loves. They can also look so anti-environment by backing the idea of solar panels popping up all over the US and allowing investors to make money in the process.

BlackRocks Plan to Have Millennials Convert Student Loan Debt into Home Mortgages Just Might Work

I like this kind of out-of-the-box thinking by a company that would love to get the fees that this transaction would start.

"Fiscal policy initiatives targeted at young workers with high levels of student indebtedness might, perhaps surprisingly to some, have an outsize impact in supporting the housing recovery and financial markets," Rick Rieder, co-head of Americas Fixed Income at BlackRock, wrote in a recent commentary.

BlackRock estimates there are about seven million people in the U.S. that would be eligible for an FHA-approved mortgage but are burdened by student loans. The thinking is that because they are devoting a large chunk of their income to pay down student debt, they probably aren't saving for a down payment on a house. 

If just one million of them are converted to homebuyers through some form of student debt forgiveness, more than three million jobs could be created, Rieder recently told CNNMoney.
You get to convert worthless debt into productive debt and you let millennial contribute that much more to the economy once they are home owners. They get that mortgage deduction and can get off the rental treadmill and actually build some equity.

It would be kind of a GI Bill for people with lots of college loan debt. Maybe the government could also back some loans at below market rates for first time loan buyers for people that were able to pay for college so they won't get left out. In any case this would be an interesting bipartisan bill because it will reduce debt, forgive crushing student loans, might pay for itself and create jobs.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Quantum Phenomena Might be Explained by Many 'Parallel' Everyday Worlds Theory: That Explains Ghosts

I read about how physicists might be changing their idea about parallel worlds.

The bizarre behavior of the quantum world — with objects existing in two places simultaneously and light behaving as either waves or particles — could result from interactions between many 'parallel' everyday worlds, a new theory suggests.

“It is a fundamental shift from previous quantum interpretations,” says Howard Wiseman, a theoretical quantum physicist at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, who together with his colleagues describes the idea in Physical Review X.

These worlds are supposed to behave similarity to our own and touch and interact with one another but very tenuously. This gives me a good idea of what ghosts are. They are images from a different quantum world that interacts with our own. So we will see a person from that other world for a split second and they might or might not see us as well. Most of the time we only see a ghostly image for a few seconds and then nothing. Maybe "haunted houses" are just areas where that other world bleeds into ours easier for some reason of another. I wonder if physicists did experiments in these sorts of places they would get stronger results?

Another Crowd Walks out on Obama: He is a Team That is 30 Points down

It is sad that a guy that can command a crowd and was a special orator way back when is getting the "beat traffic" treatment from his adoring fans.

For the second time in as many weeks, persons have walked out during a campaign speech given by President Barack Obama. Last week, it happened as the president spoke in Maryland – and this week, it happened in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, according to a WND report on Tuesday. It was apparent that the president was still delivering his speech as people were marching out of the venue where he was campaigning for Mary Burke, the Democratic Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate who is trying to take incumbent Gov. Scott Walker’s job away from him in the midterm election next week.

He is like a team that is getting blown out in the third quarter when you see streams of fans heading for the exits. I guess you can call him the Oakland Raiders of politics. They were great way back when but due to mismanagement they are perennial losers. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

One Good Thing About Millennials: They are Adding to 401Ks like crazy

They are finally getting jobs as the economy improves and are seeing that a 401K is a great way to save for retirement.

In the first half of 2014, the number of Millennials enrolling for the first time in a 401(k) plan jumped 55%, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 401(k) Wellness Scorecard. This twice-yearly report examines trends among 2.5 million plan participants with $129 billion of assets under the bank’s care.

The brisk initial enrollment pace is due partly to the sheer number of Millennials entering the workforce. They account for about 25% of workers today, a figure that will shoot to 50% by 2020. But it also reflects a broader trend toward 401(k) enrollment. Across all generations, the number enrolling for the first time jumped 37%, Bank of America found.

Those opt-out 401K forms (instead of the opt-ins of yesteryear) are doing wonders for 401K plan growth. Plus there are apps you can use to manage your account and keep tabs on the amounts going in and growing. I wonder what the numbers are for Millennials re-balancing their portfolios though. Do they set-it and forget it or do they look at it quarterly? Or do they change things around whenever they see something on TV?

Now what the government needs to do is allow people to put more money in 401Ks than ever before to encourage savings. The employee match is one of the few ways a person can accrue wealth tax free left in America and Millennials need to tap that source for all its worth.

Mom and Pop Investors Back in the Market? Is it Time to Sell?

Most of the time when Individual Investors buy stock in a big way the market will drop.

This means that approximately 35% of all household financial assets are “at risk.” In fact, we’re now getting back to investment market participation levels not seen since the third quarter of 2007, during which 34% of all household assets were invested. The two previous peaks before then were Q1 2000 (43%) and 1968 (31%). Bears will note that these moments coincided nicely with the onset of the last three major bear markets, 1966 to 1982, 2000 to 2002, and 2007 to 2009.
 The individual investor is usually holding the bag when the music stops and the pros flee the field. This article points out that these investors are going in using passive Index funds and other more conservative stuff. No or Nifty 50 or other mess as far as I can tell. At least the economy is improving so there really isn't a true reason for a massive drop or recession in our future. 

Darius Foster: The Face of a New GOP?

Well I like his political philosophy already.

With the bulky frame of a former linebacker and a warm, hearty laugh, Foster fashions himself as a Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt Republican.

"The fight-for-the-people Republican. That's what they were. I'm not sure where the Democratic Party was able to hijack that narrative from us. But they did. And they have it. I'm trying to bring it back," he says.

Foster is a 33-year-old business consultant. He's been active in the GOP since he founded a lonely chapter of College Republicans at the historically black Miles College in Birmingham. He's been tapped by the Republican National Committee as a future leader.

So he actually got in the trench and started a College Republican chapter at a historically black college. He also sounds like a happy warrior which the GOP sorely needs. Plus, the idea of the GOP fighting for the average American has been long overdue. Growing the economy so that people can find meaningful jobs and eventually become prosperous is the dream of many Americans. The so called "Compassionate Conservative" should be more than just a buzzword.

His wife has some of my political philosophy as well.

Over breakfast at their neighborhood IHOP, his wife, 28-year-old Setara Foster, a lawyer, talks about growing up black in Houston where her parents were union members and loyal Democrats.

She now identifies more closely with the GOP. But she says she tends to split her ticket.

"I think that when we as a group identify with one party, for one thing, all the time, that party never has to earn our vote. Ever. And so I think that by having a diversity of political ideology within ethnic, racial, gender, age groups, we force politicians to work," she says.

I agree with the GOP on some things (mostly economic growth and taxes) and disagree with them on other things (most social issues.) I think all Americans should have a little of Mrs. Foster's idea that no party should take your vote for granted and have to keep working for it. If minorities had more of this idea then the Dems couldn't just put them in their pocket and to keep doing nothing for them.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The First Outrage of the 2014 Election Season: Wasabi Ginger Wins the New Lays Flavor! #OUTRAGE

You got to be kidding me! I enjoy wasabi (with shoyu and ginger afterward) with sushi but on chips? No way!

The entry to the brand’s annual “Do Us a Flavor” contest beat out Mango Salsa, Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, and—likely much to the relief of coffee expert Oliver Strand and Yahoo Readers everywhere—Cappuccino. The unique flavors have been on sale nationwide since late July, and chip lovers have been voting on them. We got the winner of the people’s choice award on the horn to tout her flavor combo. 

I cannot believe it beat out the very tasty Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese. I actually enjoyed the bacon taste of the chips and hope someone makes a bacon flavored potato chip in the US soon. There seems to be one in England but that doesn't help me when I go to Safeway on a chip purchasing mission.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

One Way to Fight ISIS is with Mockery and these Iraqi Kurds are SNLing them

I hope the real SNL plays their because it is pretty funny.

“We are bearded, dirty and filthy. … We are brainless with nothing in our heads.”

“We are ISIS. We are ISIS,” the singers declare. “We milk the goat even if it is male.”

“Our music is without rhythm. And our leader is called Qaqa,” they sing. “Our pockets are full of Qatari money. Our language is bullets and cutting.”

Their leader is really named Qaqa? So many jokes and so little time.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Obama Just Wrote a GOP Attack Ad

I wonder of he is sabotaging their campaigns for some nefarious reason?

President Obama delivered a blow to Democratic Senate candidates looking to distance themselves from his flagging approval ratings Monday, saying lawmakers avoiding him on the campaign trail were “strong allies and supporters” who have “supported my agenda in Congress.”

The president said that Democrats faced a “tough map” and noted that many Democrats in crucial races “are in states that I didn’t win” during a radio interview with Rev. Al Sharpton.

He knows that these candidates are running away from him as fast as they can. So he goes ahead and damages their campaign for his own narcissistic reasons. I guess he figures that the Senate will go GOP and he will have 2 years to cruise and start planning his memoirs.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Could ISIS use Ebola to Attack America and Europe? Very Plausable

I recently read a book on the Black Death a while back called The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time.The book talked about how the Black Plague came to Europe through a biological warfare attack by the Mongols toward a city in Asia Minor call Caffa held by the Genoa in 1347. 

What Jani Beg (the Khan of the Golden Horde) did when the city of Caffa was under siege was use his catapults to toss plague corpses into the city in order to break the siege. The plague corpses infected a number of Genoese sailors who attempted to flee the city (and devestated Caffa) and thus inadvertently inflicted the Black Death on much of Europe. The Black Death caused the death of 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia.

An interesting side note was that Jani Beg was a Muslim. So this got me thinking that what if ISIS decided to send a number of their operatives to West Africa to get their hands on Ebola infected blood. Or maybe even worse infect themselves and become living (not for too long) "Jani Beg plague corpses." All they really need is a blood soaked rag from an Ebola patient in Liberia and every operative can potentially become a living "plague missile."

What these "ISIS plague missiles" could potentially do is send packages of Ebola to various victims in the US and Europe. It would only take a few blood or vomit soaked rags in an Amazon box to be sent to various people in the US and it might be worse than a letter bomb. 

What would be terrifying is that this attack would be nearly impossible to detect. You can detect bomb materials in a box sent in the mail but these are just rags and gauze and things. You cannot use a metal detector or some sniffer to catch this kind of biological warfare attack. Hell, they could just send a bunch of bloody rags that that are not even Ebola infected and it will create the same kind of panic.

The job of terrorists is to inflict terror and this would strait up terrify people. I know it would be fairly difficult to catch Ebola from a bloody rag made in Syria all the way in the US because of the nature of the virus. However, the fear it would cause would be devastating. Each one of those boxes would have to be checked out by health care officials and tested to make sure it isn't virulent. Then disease detectives would have to check the person that opened the box and everyone that person came in contact with. I wonder if the CIA and the FBI are checking to make sure this kind of thing doesn't happen. I really hope they are because this attack would be scary in the extreme.