Category Archives: Business

Fox News In Israel

The guy who showed me how to use the television turned it to Fox News without my even asking. “It’s our favorite in Israel, they’re the only ones who report what is really happening. Well, until the past few days…”

Anyway, I’ve been seeing these little segments called “Fox News Extra,” with people like Patti-Ann Brown or Laura Ingall doing little interviews, and wondered if they were a new thing. Then I realized that I wasn’t seeing any commercials.

Off To Israel

I’m flying there tomorrow on business, back next Saturday. I’m thinking about renting a car. The rates seem pretty good (though I don’t know what the surcharges will be), and I can get supplemental insurance for $40 for the week. Anyone have any experience?

[Evening update]

OK, gotten a lot of useful feedback. Sounds like it would be manageable for me if it’s really no worse than south Florida with all the Haitians, but my new info is that they have a pretty good train system. If I were on vacation and wanting to explore, and into a terrifyingly entertaining experience, I’d definitely rent the car, but I’m there on business, and not moving around much. It looks to me like the best bet is to take a train from Ben-Gurion to Hertzlia, then a short cab to my hotel, and get around locally with cabs (and colleagues with whom I’m there on business). On Friday, my main day off, I could take train to airport to drop bag, then another to Jerusalem for sightseeing, then back to airport for flight home.

Climate Reporting

It’s a hot mess.

[Late-morning update]

A media round up, and some thoughts, from Judith Curry, on the State of the Union:

what is wrong with President Obama’s statements as cited above?

  • His statement about humans having exacerbated extreme weather events is not supported by the IPCC

  • The Pentagon is confusing climate change with extreme weather (see above)
  • ‘Climate change is real’ is almost a tautology; climate has always changed and always will, independently of anything humans do.
  • His tweet about ‘97%’ is based on an erroneous and discredited paper [link]

As for ‘Denial from Congress is dangerous’, I doubt that anyone in Congress denies that climate changes. The issue of ‘dangerous’ is a hypothetical, and relates to values (not science).

And speaking of the ‘deniers’ in Congress, did anyone spot any errors in the actual science from Senator Inhofe’s rebuttal?

The apparent ‘contract’ between Obama and his administrators to play politics with climate science seems to be a recipe for anti science and premature policies with negative economic consequences that have little to no impact on the climate.

BUt the important thing is that they line the pockets of his campaign contributors.

Maybe some day, in a future administration, we can have a grown up conversation about climate change (natural and human caused), the potential risks, and a broad range of policy responses.

Let’s hope.

Full Employment

No, we’re nowhere close to it:

Measured against where these people expected the economy to be at this point seven years ago, the economy is indeed awful. Millions of people who should have jobs don’t, and those who do have jobs are working for much lower wages than would be the case in a healthy economy.

This is the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression. For most of the same reasons.

Note, I don’t agree with Baker’s recommendations, though.

[Update a few minutes later]

Of 3000 counties, only 65 have recovered from the recession.

American Sniper

Kyle Smith liked it.

Its success will really piss off the Hollywood Left, after all their box-office bombs, after which they said Americans “just don’t like movies about the war.” No, they just don’t like anti-American movies.

The “Hard Landing” On The Ship

Elon has been tweeting some video grabs.

[Update a while later]

Here’s the video.

Fifty-Dollar Oil

Is it a floor, or a ceiling?

Competitive market conditions would therefore dictate that Saudi Arabia and other low-cost producers always operate at full capacity, while US frackers would experience the boom-bust cycles typical of commodity markets, shutting down when global demand is weak or new low-cost supplies come onstream from Iraq, Libya, Iran, or Russia, and ramping up production only during global booms when oil demand is at a peak.

Under this competitive logic, the marginal cost of US shale oil would become a ceiling for global oil prices, whereas the costs of relatively remote and marginal conventional oilfields in OPEC and Russia would set a floor. As it happens, estimates of shale-oil production costs are mostly around $50, while marginal conventional oilfields generally break even at around $20. Thus, the trading range in the brave new world of competitive oil should be roughly $20 to $50.

Makes sense to me.

[Update a few minutes later]

I’ve long said that oil over a (inflation adjusted) hundred dollars a barrel was unsustainable. This would seem to validate that.

High-Fat Rodent Diets

Why they are not to be trusted:

So are the results telling us that the increasingly popular low carb high fat approach is wrong? That after all there’s no need for official bodies to perform a major U-turn? Not as far as I can tell. In fact it seems the rodent work is highly misleading. Not only are the so called ‘high fat diets’ they are fed nothing like the low carbohydrate diets any informed human would follow, but the animals have been selectively bred to ensure they become fat and diabetic on a high fat diet. This is not research, it is a rigged game.

I’m sure you’re as shocked as I am.