Thursday, June 19, 2008

Meena's 2nd run

I ran again with Meenah this morning and am still amazed at her endurance. I had figured from seeing her dash around the yard that she would have great top-speed, but never suspected she could keep it up.

She always pulls at the leash a bit and wants to be a little ahead of me. On the empty road down to the swim and tennis club I decided to see if I could go as fast as her. I steadily accelerated and eventually she was following me! I could only maintain that speed for about ten seconds and probably haven't run that fast in 20 years.

I put a few more sprints in that 2 mile morning run but could not outrun her--so either she just wasn't tired or just not quite as tired as I was. I am tempted to take her for a longer run, just to see what she can do. I am reluctant because I don't want her to injure herself and I don't want to be miles from home when she suddenly refuses to continue. I would end up having to carry her home. She is only 17 lbs, but she might wriggle, so it could be pretty unpleasant.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Dollar and Oil

Here is a further discussion of oil prices, which I had began in a post last week.

I had pointed out that domestic oil production would decrease our trade deficit. The mechanism has feedback--which can be good for us or bad depending on which side of the curve we are on. Currently we are on the wrong side of the curve.

When there is pressure for oil prices to rise, say by India and China rapidly growing, this causes the price of oil to rise. Now even if we import the same volume, it costs us more, so our trade deficit grows, the dollar falls. The result is that oil costs even more for us; it is a vicious cycle. It can be a virtuous cycle though. If we produce more oil, we will purchase less, the dollar will rise and then it will cost even less for what we import.

It is all econ 101, but you don't have to believe me--only an MBA. Believe the guy below, he is saying the same thing.

The high and rising price of oil does, however, contribute to the decline of the dollar, because the increasing cost of oil imports widens the US’ trade deficit. Last year, the US spent US$331 billion on oil imports, which was 47 percent of the US trade deficit of US$708 billion. If the price of oil had remained at US$65 a barrel, the cost of the same volume of imports would have been only US$179 billion, and the trade deficit would have been one-fifth lower. The dollar is declining because only a more competitive dollar can shrink the US trade deficit to a sustainable level. Thus, as rising global demand pushes oil prices higher in the years ahead, it will become more difficult to shrink the US trade deficit, inducing more rapid dollar depreciation.

Martin Feldstein is Professor of Economics at Harvard and President of the National Bureau for Economic Research.

June 10th weather forcast for Pullman Washington


If memory serves; Pullman is pretty much a ghost town by that time of year.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I am not smart enough to believe the things liberals believe

Obama, from recent ABC interview.

And, you know, let's take the example of Guantanamo. What we know is that, in previous terrorist attacks -- for example, the first attack against the World Trade Center, we were able to arrest those responsible, put them on trial. They are currently in U.S. prisons, incapacitated.

And the fact that the administration has not tried to do that has created a situation where not only have we never actually put many of these folks on trial, but we have destroyed our credibility when it comes to rule of law all around the world, and given a huge boost to terrorist recruitment in countries that say, "Look, this is how the United States treats Muslims."

Just about every time I have a discussion with a liberal about the war, they point-out that Bush has created more terrorists, or made us less safe, etc. So Obama is located right there in the meaty heart of current liberal thought.

How though might we look at the reasonableness of this thesis? My experience has been that when I ask for evidence, I am looked upon incredulously--as if I wanted evidence that the Earth is not flat. One begins to think that they all just believe it because every body else believes it too. So, let me meditate on the issue and see what we can find...

When it comes to fighting terror, we are mostly talking about it in terms of Arab Muslims. With a few notable exceptions, there are no Arab Muslim democracies. The exceptions are Lebanon, which is not completely Arab nor completely Muslim and not completely democratic, Israel has Arab citizens and they can vote, Iraq is Arab and Muslim and becoming a democracy. Why exactly Arab Muslims would resent the United States for imperfect rule of law when their own nations are all dictatorships seems counter intuitive to say the least.

The terrorists tend to be religious fanatics who dislike democracy and the rule of law (as we understand that term in the western world), they prefer sharia--The Koran is the law. That being the case, it makes much more sense to infer what their motives might be: What promotes terrorists is that we are setting-up a democracy in Iraq! Given that it will never be in our interest to help promote a theocracy in Iraq, the United States and advocates of Sharia are going to just have to agree to disagree.

Let me put it another way: I highly doubt that a resident of a dictatorship would be so attached to liberal conceptions of law that he would travel to a foreign land and blow up a bunch of civilians in a market-place. I guess only people as smart and sophisticated as Senator Obama and his minions can believe such nonsense.

Our Sporting Spaniel

When we got Meenah almost three months ago she would get tired from just walking down to the bus stop in the morning. That is only 1/4 mile. Well today I took her for a 2 mile run in the morning. She strained to go faster the whole way!

It was a cool morning and I don't think she could do this kind of thing on a hot day, but when conditions are right she could certainly run further or faster.

Later in the morning, I walked ahead with the girls to the bus stop and looked back as Vaishali came, walking the dog. Meenah looked so small, hard to believe what that 17 lb creature is capable of.

Monday, June 16, 2008

New Run

Yesterday, I tried a new route; an abandoned rail road track is being converted into a bike path. It is far from done, but still quite passable since they have torn-out the old railroad ties and rail.