Friday, February 27, 2009

St Louis Tea Party Pictures

That is the best picture I took at the St Louis Tea Party. That girl is just beaming. Those kids were having a great time on a cold day and I hope they got some hot chocolate afterward!
That's me with my 8 week old protest babe. Thanks to whoever took the picture—I found it on facebook. The other half of my social security plan had a play date, so there are no pictures of her.

I planned to interview people and upload the interviews to YouTube; however, even though my camera had charged overnight, it was DOA at the event. I think it has a charging problem or the battery's shot.

I had backup options. I brought both my video capable cell phone and my MP3 (audio-only) recorder; however, the cold weather combined with everything I was carrying convinced me that you have to either be a protester or a journalist. With better weather, maybe I could've done both.

Another lesson learned is that you need to bring a real bullhorn. The one they had could not be clearly heard towards the back of the crowd. Here's one of the speakers with the bullhorn:
My beef is not just with the government. I also feel that the media has been biased towards left-liberal causes in their reporting, so I issued myself media credentials for this event ;-) I don't think there are any great pictures of them, though they are partially visible in the picture of me at Here's the text: / Media Credentials / Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of... the press...

If you're a blogger, please do the same! There's no reason the implosion of newspapers cannot spread further up the media food chain. All you have to do is the job they aren't doing and do it for free with the help of YouTube....

Update: Thanks for the picture Shamed! I think that's the best shot of my little one. As you can see she fainted when she heard that DC's already spent >$11k on her behalf.

Update 2: Thanks for the link Tim! Another good picture. It was a good idea to crop-out my bad hair. Thanks again!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Let Me Revise and Extend My Remarks

Tyler Cowen of Marginal Revolution made an obscure reference in a post yesterday about Social security and fiscal policy. Here's the seeming non sequitur in his post:
If I were Taiwan I'd feel a wee bit more worried these days.
Before I started blogging—late last September, to be specific—I emailed Tyler an early version of my Hu's in Trouble Post. He thanked me for the email, so I knew he had read it. I'll take the line above as confirmation that he hasn't forgotten it.

I've posted once more on China's massive underwritting of our debt to say that people that think that China will sell dollars on the open market aren't considering the other possibilities. Someone identified as "ws1835" commented on Tyler's post in part:

It was openly discussed that Clinton was begging China to keep buying Treasuries. That part wasn't news to me. The surprise for me was that the commentators openly discussed Chinese responses directly addressing the expectation of significant concessions from the USA in return for continued financing.

And when I say significant, I mean huge. There was no mention of Taiwan. The discussion cited items like troop reduction/withdrawal from S. Korea and Japan. Funny how you didn't hear about those topics from the Western press.
Given our massive and growing debt and China's strategic interests, they will continue to buy our treasuries. That they're using the mere offer to buy them as leverage is unfortunate for us, but smart for them. Here are a couple of questions to ponder:
  1. How much debt forgiveness is Formosa worth?
  2. ...Tibet?
  3. ...extradition of the Dalai Lama?
Yeah. China's going to keep buying US Treasuries, because their greatest coup will be the role reversal of playing might first world debt forgiver to a banana republic: the USA.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tea Party Prep

Glenn Reynolds has been tracking the wave of tea party protests that have been sweeping the nation. Bill Hennessy has pulled one together here in St. Louis this Friday. Glenn will be glad to know that I'll be there with my protest babe!

There have been a couple of posts about how to protest—the basic prep work that's involved and how to address media needs/interests. My goal in this post is to provide some advice for conducting interviews and putting them on YouTube. Truth is, I've never done an interview, so this is also a bleg for your input—please comment below or trackback.


The flip video camera (and similar cameras from other vendors) combined with YouTube has put real meaning into your first amendment right to freedom of the press. Time was when you had to buy ink by the barrel to get respect. As Marc Andreessen makes clear in a recent interview with Charlie Rose, those days are behind us (video, goto 31:50). Our betters in Washington are in the process of learning that they need to show more respect to the people that can afford $100 video cameras. Please do what you can to facilitate their education! Didn't somebody write a book about this? Why yes, the Instapundit did: An Army of Davids.

Here are some video accessories that you might want to bring:
  • Empty spare memory cards
  • Fully charged spare battery
  • USB/Firewire cables
  • USB Car Charger/Adapter
  • Backup video camera and/or MP3 recorder
  • Microphone
  • Digital camera (to document the protest babes)
Obviously, you'll need a computer and an internet connection to upload your interviews to YouTube.

Interview Prep

Write down a list of questions that you plan to ask your interviewees. You might have a couple of different question lists for different groups, but I've only got the one below. Here are my preliminary questions for Friday's Tea Party:
  1. I'm interviewing people attending this event and plan to put some interviews up on YouTube. Would you like to participate?
  2. If yes, start filming. If no, thank them for their time.
  3. Tell me a little bit about yourself. What's your name? Where are you from? Where did you go to high school? (The high school question is a regional favorite. I'm not sure how well it will play elsewhere.)
  4. Have you participated in other events like this?
  5. Do you support the recent spending plans and do you think that they will improve our economy?
  6. When do you expect to see the results of the stimulus in the St Louis economy?
  7. Do you expect to benefit directly from the stimulus? If so, how will you benefit?
  8. What kind of work are you in and how will it be effected by the stimulus?
  9. If you had to pick a number, what do you think the high water mark for unemployment will be this year? It's currently around 7.5%.
  10. Similarly, if you had to pick a number, what do you think the low water mark for the Dow will be this year? It's currently around 7300.
  11. Thank you for your time!
Let me know if you have any suggestions!

PS: I'll post an update Thursday about putting videos on YouTube.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Missed Opportunity

After reading Stephen Green's always excellent drunk blogging on Obama's big speech tonight, I think it was a mistake to cancel that short sale order for QQQQ at $28.84 this afternoon. We'll see what the market thinks tomorrow.

The president is much better at voting present. I only wish he'd do that more often and leave the rest of us alone...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A New Breed of Republican Politician...

...will be culled from the ranks of executives who have now learned where the money is: Washington, DC. With Obama limiting their compensation, soon to be underpaid corporate big wigs now have all the incentive in the world to go all Willie Sutton and they have the perfect vehicle for their vengeance: a Republican Party in need of new blood.