Sunday, January 29, 2012

Music at SeaTac airport?

Mayor McGinn got a photo op, but I missed the music.

SeaTac airport made a big splash about having Seattle's famous music at the airport yesterday (Saturday), called Experience the City of Music. I spent a half hour there yesterday - the same day - after their big event. Where was the music at 8:45? I couldn't hear it.

Crosscut reports
You may want to take those earbuds out while waiting for your luggage at Sea-Tac Airport. Starting this week, Sea-Tac Airport is offering free upgrades that include the sights and sounds of Northwest music. The Sea-Tac Airport Music Initiative: Experience the City of Music launches on Saturday (Jan. 28) — a collaboration between the Port of Seattle, Seattle Music Commission, and PlayNetwork.
And here is the list of what I didn't hear. These are supposed to be long-term, not just during the mayor's public appearance. OK, OK, I admit I wouldn't recognize the voice of Sir Mix-a-Lot in a laundromat.
  • Overhead music by such local emerging artists as Fences, Beat Connection, and Allen Stone along with legends Ray Charles, Heart, and Nirvana.
  • Overhead safety and informational announcements read by local musicians such as Ben Gibbard, LeRoy Bell, Macklemore, Jerry Cantrell, and Sir Mix-A-Lot.
  • Video segments on terminal monitors with original content from KEXP, EMP, MTV, Chase Jarvis, Seattle Channel's Art Zone, Light in the Attic Records, and The Seattle Band Map.
  • Web-based multi-channel music player available via the airport's free WiFi.
  • Android mobile app that features access to the PlayNetwork music playlist, videos and concert listings. iPhone, Windows Phone 7, and Blackberry apps to follow.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Great Expansion

From 1980 to 2007 the entire world economy expanded at an average 3.4% per year, which is an increase of 145%! The US grew a little slower, but even with the Great Recession the US averaged 3.0% growth. We are all much richer than we were in 1980. [wording clarified]

Did the middle class shrink? (I hate calling an income grouping a "class.") The broad grouping of $35k to $105k inflation adjusted to current dollars did shrink. But the lower income group didn't grow; the higher group grew! And around the world the lower income groups increased their income. [wording clarified]

What we can learn from the "Great Expansion" of 1980 to 2007?

Henry R. Nau is a fellow at Hoover Institution. Quoting:

… Even more importantly, the global surge in growth spread wealth from the rich to the poor countries, creating greater equality in global markets than ever before. Throughout this period, developing countries grew two and even three times faster than developed countries. As a result, the share of world GDP held by emerging markets increased to 22% from 13%, while the U.S. share remained steady at approximately 26%. The "Great Expansion" created a global middle class of some 600 million-800 million people in China, India, Brazil and other developing countries.
What were the policy trends that produced this Great Expansion? 

Precisely the free-market policies of deregulation and lower marginal income-tax rates that Mr. Obama decries.

President Ronald Reagan's decision to reverse the high-tax, loose-money, and interventionist government policies of the 1970s brought an end to the painful "stagflation" of that decade. Privatization world-wide reversed the growth of government, and new trade rounds were launched to open global markets and roll back protectionism. The Uruguay Round and later the North American Free Trade Agreement liberalized trade in agriculture and services and brought fast-growing emerging markets into the global system. This was combined with the liberalization of private financial markets, creating the global banking system that mobilized massive savings in emerging markets to fuel the industrial engines of the Great Expansion.

Global financial markets could have been better regulated, but President Obama's policies go far beyond any reforms that would bring an end to "too big to fail." His policies shift the emphasis back to public-sector growth while squeezing private-sector initiatives. He raises federal spending to 25% of GDP, favors higher taxes to keep it there, and touts government investment in clean energy and infrastructure to spur economic growth.

Meanwhile, he imposes health-care, regulatory and other costs on the private sector, restricts credit by trashing "fat cat" bankers, and discourages imports by pandering to labor's fears of globalization. Sadly, his policies resemble those that brought on the stagflation of the '70s, not those that ignited the Great Expansion.

This also appeared in the Wall Street Journal Thursday.

Monday, January 23, 2012

150 dead in Nigeria. Muslims claim credit

150 people were killed in Nigeria in the past week. There were bomb blasts in northern city Kano. Muslim group Boko Haram claimed credit for coordinated attacks on Saturday.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Charlottesville to avoid the snow

To avoid the snow and ice in Seattle... And we got freezing rain.

We flew to Charlottesville, VA, Tuesday morning. Good timing. The same flight left more than 4 hours late on Wednesday and was cancelled Thursday. (Go to and select an airport, date, and time to see how many flights were cancelled or severely late.)

We had two cold days with sunshine. Then a partly sunny day ending with freezing rain. It took Gini over 20 minutes to thaw the car - I am still down sick for the second day.

It's a beautiful, historic area - University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson & Monticello. But it sure is hot and sticky in the summer. And it's far enough inland to get snow, but coastal enough to have had one hurricane pass over while our family members have lived here.

Update: The Tacoma Narrows Bridge was closed due to ice falling from the 500-foot-high towers! NWCN

Photo: The Rotunda at University of Virginia. Appears to be from New York Times, date unknown.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Post Office refuses to deliver mail in immigrant neighborhoods in Malmo Sweden

Post Office refuses to deliver mail in imigrant neighborhoods in Malmo Sweden because their carriers are not safe. Why are they not safe?

The Local (Sweden)

The article doesn't say. It does say that the problem neighborhood is majority foreigners. Wonder what foreigners attack postal carriers? No mention here.

Telegraph UK says there is an increase in attacks on Jews by Muslims.

And Fox News says Muslims are attacking police and firemen as well as postal workers. Why?
Swedish authorities in the southern city of Malmo (search) have been busy with a sudden influx of Muslim immigrants — 90 percent of whom are unemployed and many who are angry and taking it out on the country that took them in.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Obama has two of the top seven product flops of 2011

When big brother decides what products get built big brother has to get people to buy them. Big Obama decided that you were going to buy certain cars, but you didn't buy. Is that his fault or yours?

In the top seven -- Chevrolet Volt. Obama said they would sell like hot cakes and he give $7,500 of our tax money to each buyer. Administration officials predicted far higher sales, in part, because GM and some of its parts suppliers have received hundreds of millions of dollars in start-up funds. Moreover, the federal government is buying some of the vehicles, and is paying for state and local governments, as well as regulated companies, to buy even more.

Also the tiny Fiat 500. “The car was expected to be a big seller, rivaling BMW’s Mini… [and] Fiat expected to sell 50,000 500s during 2011 in North America,” according to the Yahoo! Finance Top 7 list. However, “Fiat sold fewer than 12,000 [and] sales were so poor that Chrysler Group, which manages the Fiat brand in the United States, ousted U.S. chief Laura Soave this past November,” noted Yahoo.

Daily Caller 

Graphic from a photographer in India. 

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Professor Krugman has top quote of the year 2011

Media Research Council collected (voted on) the quotes of the year 2011 MRC

Did you know that NY Times partisan Professor Paul Krugman got a Nobel Prize, and it's not for peace. His notable words were for the 9/11 anniversary:
“What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. [The] atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neo-cons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons....The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.”
One runner-up for the MRC 'quote of the year" award was Stephen Marche of Esquire Magazine, who was cited for saying:
“Can we just enjoy Obama for a moment? Before the policy choices have to be weighed and the hard decisions have to be made, can we just take a month or two to contemplate him the way we might contemplate a painting by Vermeer or a guitar lick by the early-seventies Rolling Stones or a Peyton Manning pass or any other astounding, ecstatic human achievement? Because twenty years from now, we’re going to look back on this time as a glorious idyll in American politics, with a confident, intelligent, fascinating president riding the surge of his prodigious talents from triumph to triumph....’I am large, I contain multitudes,’ Walt Whitman wrote, and Obama lives that lyrical prophecy....Barack Obama is developing into what Hegel called a ‘world-historical soul,’ an embodiment of the spirit of the times. He is what we hope we can be.”
The other runner-up for this award was MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews who said his daily cable news program,
“Hardball is absolutely non-partisan.”
And there are many more: Thomas Friedman, Margaret Carlson… Go to the link at the top to enjoy.

Via Wash Times