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Posts by Be Free

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  • Here’s Why The Check Engine Light Is A Horrible, Terrible Thing

    11/25/2014 1:13:30 PM PST · 111 of 151
    Be Free to woodbutcher1963

    RE: the Tacoma maint required light.

    That’s your time-to-change-the-oil indicator. It starts blinking about 4,500 miles after the last reset; at 5,000 miles, it stays on solid. You can’t set it to where it won’t come on, but you can reset it yourself:

    The Tacoma has the regular odometer readout, and it has 2 trip odometers (A & B). The reset procedure is to (with the truck off and the key out) select the “Trip A” odometer, then push and hold it while you insert the key and turn it to “ON” (not “Start”, “ON” - where the dash lights all come on). Keep holding it for at least 5 seconds - the light should reset and stay off until you go another 4500 miles.

  • Hagel Said to Be Stepping Down as Defense Chief Under Pressure

    11/24/2014 7:23:34 AM PST · 58 of 124
    Be Free to Tzfat

    He could partially redeem himself by quickly publishing a tell-all book. He knows where a lot of bodies are buried ...

  • Dream executive orders of a Republican President-vanity

    11/23/2014 5:36:06 AM PST · 85 of 86
    Be Free to central_va

    1. Repeal the income tax and replace with the Flat Tax.
    2. Eliminate corporate taxes, and any lingering corporate subsidies.
    3. Void any laws limiting the citizenry in their free exercise of the right to keep and bear arms under the 2nd amendment.
    4. All able-bodied recipients of government subsistence payments or services are required to perform government services. The hours required are commensurate with the amount provided.
    5. Deploy the armed forces immediately to our southern border to cease illegal entry by non-citizens. Any illegal entrants apprehended will be immediately incarcerated for a minimum of 5 years, and then deported to their country of origin.
    6. Eliminate the department of education. All federal subsidies to states to support the provision of public education will be in the form of voucher support, where recipients can apply them to the school of their choosing - including religion-based schools.
    7. Eliminate the EPA.
    8. Restrict NASA to space exploration; any funds spent on global-warming research are eliminated.
    9. Federal office candidacy requirements: all citizens filing to run for public office must waive all privacy rights over discovery and provision of education records, papers, grades, thesis, etc., as well as medical, tax and legal matters.
    10. Affirmatively restore the right of any citizen to express their religious beliefs under the first amendment, regardless of whether they’re an employee or agent of a government entity.
    11. Establish the right or recall for Federal judges up to and including Supreme Court justices.
    12. Eliminate all foreign payments and support to other countries.
    13. Eliminate export & import taxes, except to the extent they support the infrastructure required to facilitate imports and exports.
    14. Tort reform - loser pays.
    15. Medical insurance reform - get Feds and States out of the way. Allow insurance across state lines. All items of insurance coverage are available ala carte.
    16. Mandated balanced budget. Phase in period of 10 years to allow orderly un-wind of out of control spending. “Penny plan”, as hawked by Hannity and others to effect this.
    17. Personalized “Social Security” accounts. Separate the retirement and safety-net components. Retirement is in a named account, owned by the individual or their heirs, and invested in 50/50 in US Treasury bonds and a Russell 2000 index fund (or equivalent). Safety-net payouts move to HHS, get recategorized as social welfare, and recipients (where able) are required to provide some level of service to the country to receive. Individuals can opt out.

    And that’s just for starters ... I could easily go on ...

  • 9/11 terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui tells of plot to kill Clinton’s

    11/20/2014 9:31:33 AM PST · 21 of 27
    Be Free to a fool in paradise
    ... dodging sniper fire ...

    Perhaps somewhere full of intrigue and mystery. How about Sarajevo? That should fool the little people.

  • 9/11 terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui tells of plot to kill Clinton’s

    11/20/2014 6:38:44 AM PST · 12 of 27
    Be Free to realcleanguy


    Step 1: Position Hillary right of Obama - make her out to be a moderate centrist;

    Step 2: Make her a sympathetic figure. Bad guys are out to get her, so patriotic Americans will rise to “defend” her against these dark forces (remember the “Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy”?)

    Step x: Full loving-grandmother role, once Chelsea’s kid is born.

    Step y: Something to do with strong military action or support for military members and families. I’m guessing they’ll launch some sort of “Blue-Ribbon” panel or organization to champion the much-needed fixes to the VA.

    Step z: Some kind of big surprise item. Maybe she’ll propose repealing Obamacare, and replacing with something marketed as fixing the bad, while retaining the good.

    Just watch ...

  • SEATTLE'S MINIMUM WAGE CRASH: $15 to ZERO! Profit's Take A Nosedive!

    11/19/2014 2:53:13 PM PST · 80 of 83
    Be Free to zeestephen

    That’s some round-about way to think about it: higher minimum-wages reduce the number of low-skill jobs in the marketplace (reduction of supply). Therefore, the number of immigrants will drop, as there are not jobs available for which they can be hired (do I have that right?).

    I have a better idea. Stop government intervention in the markets through a mandated minimum wage AND secure our borders, allowing only those WE WANT to contribute to our society to enter and remain.

  • SEATTLE'S MINIMUM WAGE CRASH: $15 to ZERO! Profit's Take A Nosedive!

    11/19/2014 10:05:54 AM PST · 68 of 83
    Be Free to Teotwawki

    This will accelerate the trend toward automation of more business functions, eliminating more and more jobs. Every job has an economic value associated with it. If the fully-loaded cost to perform a job doesn’t warrant the return the owner will receive, then the job is eliminated. If the cost of an employee exceeds the cost of an alternative method of performing the same business function, the job will be eliminated.

    All laws and regulations like this do is force more jobs underground (cash only); increase imports of less-expensive foreign goods; and increase unemployment among the young, the minorities, and the (already) poor.

    Ronald Reagan expressed it well: “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it”.

  • Right-to-Carry Laws Linked to Violent Crime

    11/19/2014 9:19:33 AM PST · 37 of 42
    Be Free to Westbrook

    In Economics-speak, it’s confusing correlation with causation. For example, in the summer months, crime is higher. Also in the summer months, ice-cream consumption is higher. These 2 facts are correlated, but it would be wrong to say that ice-cream consumption causes a rise in crime.

  • Reid Votes Against Landrieu (Screws Democrat Party)

    11/19/2014 7:28:09 AM PST · 29 of 39
    Be Free to ryan71
    He was protecting obama from having to veto it.

    Exactly right, but maybe not for obvious reasons. The only fight the Dems WANT to have before Reid is demoted in January is the immigration fight. This is a distraction to them. Further, they know that (a) Landrieu is going to lose to Cassidy regardless of the vote and (b) even if Landrieu stages a remarkable comeback and wins, the GOP will still control the Senate. The true test of sentiments will be which of the Dem Senators that voted FOR the XL pipeline this time, will vote against it when the GOP brings it up in the new Congress. Reid brought it up because it was NEVER going to get to 60 votes, but would be just about guaranteed to get 59, so enough of the 2-faced Dem Senators could go home and tell their sheeple that they supported it.

  • Jonathan Gruber: Getting the Facts Straight on Health Care Reform

    11/15/2014 6:56:19 AM PST · 18 of 24
    Be Free to Cincinatus' Wife

    The Tea-Party and the GOP need to really fan the flames on this. This is documented proof of what we all have known - the Dem’s lie to get their socialist agenda passed. This is just another in a long list.

    The Dem’s succeed by building what is a self-reinforcing cycle:

    1. Determine what socialist issue they want to promote, and laws they want to pass.
    2. Flog a populist message about helping the little-guy and the helpless by taxing the wealthy. This is a numbers game - there are more voters that are poor than there are that are rich. All the better if your program creates a dependency of these voters on government hand-outs.
    3. Find external “experts” with lots of degrees from major Universities, where you can cite their research and reports that support the position you want to promote.
    4. Pay said “experts” (that already agree with your position, or that are just academic prostitutes) to do more supportive research, and speak publicly on behalf of the policies you want to promote. The zealot-experts would do it for free, but are happy to take the money as a perceived reward. The useful-idiot-experts (like Krugman) know they can’t make money in the real world, so become dependent on what is just another government handout or bribe.
    5. Enlist the compliant media to (a) promote the message and (b) attack any detractors and (c) hide the truth.

    If it blows up, like this one is doing, you blame the experts. Afterall, they were duped just like everyone else.

    What’s surprising to me is that conservative commentators haven’t yet linked this methodology, on stark display here, to climate-change scientists and debate. It’s the exact same thing - find and exploit the works of “name” scientists from “name” universities to promote a socialist wealth redistribution scheme for pay.

  • 'Dear Koch Brothers: We Aren't Going Anywhere' (Dems doubling down)

    11/07/2014 10:11:17 AM PST · 61 of 98
    Be Free to jalisco555

    Dear {billionaire} Tom Steyer, {billionaire} Bill/Melinda Gates, {billionaire} Steve Balmer, {billionaire} Warren Buffet, {billionaire} Michael Bloomberg, {billionaire} Mark Zuckerberg, {billionaire} Steven Spielberg, {billionaire} George Soros, {billionaire} A. Cox Chambers, etc., etc.:


    Want to know the fastest way to be come a multi-millionaire? Start as a multi-billionaire and “invest” in the bankrupt, failed policies of socialism and liberalism!

  • Stokes Co. Democratic Party chair arrested for kicking man in groin

    11/06/2014 7:35:34 AM PST · 24 of 42
    Be Free to CodeToad



    11/04/2014 8:28:16 PM PST · 10 of 23
    Be Free to MUDDOG

    So has AP and Fox. Hagan is toast!


    11/04/2014 8:26:34 PM PST · 8 of 23
    Be Free to jonno

    Just re-ran my numbers - should be about 84,000 votes left to go, and Tillis still leading by 50,000. That means Hagan needs 80% of these to win.


    11/04/2014 8:19:33 PM PST · 5 of 23
    Be Free to therightliveswithus

    With 96% of precincts reporting statewide, Tillis is up by 50,000 votes. If there’s an equal distribution of votes among the remaining precincts, Hagan has to get nearly 73% of what’s left to count just to tie. Ain’t gonna happen.

    Congrats Senator Tillis!

  • Tillis wins North Carolina, GOP takes Senate

    11/04/2014 7:42:01 PM PST · 23 of 36
    Be Free to Deathtomarxists

    +57,000 votes with 92.5% of the precincts in. 2% advantage to Tillis to this point. Mecklenburg is currently 2/3rd’s reported, and Hagan winning here 59% to 39%. If (BIG if) the precincts still out go the same way, and have the same average number of votes per-precinct, Hagan will close to about 20,000 votes, but still short.

    A real nail-biter, but AT THE MOMENT, it’s looking good for Tillis.

  • The Ebola age divide: Fatality rate in over 45s is 94% with under 25s having the best chance of

    10/31/2014 6:48:38 PM PDT · 10 of 22
    Be Free to Nachum

    So to solve our issue of $100 trillion un-funded liabilities (future medicare, medicaid & social security payouts) ...

    Option 1: Increase supply - the amount of money going in (dramatically increase payroll taxes);

    Option 2: Decrease demand. It would be so “unfortunate” if a large number of old folks contracted a disease that had a 94% mortality rate.

  • There is No Voter Fraud… Honest!

    10/29/2014 3:01:18 PM PDT · 30 of 36
    Be Free to Mozilla

    The left defends the most liberal voter policies possible as if their lives depended on it. When every other rational argument has been applied, and yet they still defend the indefensible, you know the only thing left is that they depend on cheating to win.

    The one that always gets me is when they say “there’s no evidence voter impersonation occurs”. When you don’t look for it, and there’s no method, system or document to check, OF COURSE there’s no evidence it’s happening.

    Imagine Barney Fife asleep at the station as the sole deputy on-duty for the graveyard shift, while cars and trucks drive un-checked on the 4-lane highway that passes thru town. According to liberal logic, clearly none are speeding because none have been caught, and no tickets have been issued.


  • U.S. plans 21-day monitoring of people who arrive from Ebola-stricken nations

    10/23/2014 5:01:46 AM PDT · 5 of 32
    Be Free to SMARTY

    Option 1: Deny their visa or entry to the U.S. if their point of origination is one of the countries overwhelmed by ebola. Risk of infection to other travelers, or our citizens? 0.01%

    Option 2: Allow them to travel here; take their temperature upon arrival; use the honor system for these travelers to self-report possible exposure; then release them into the general population, while our oh-so-effective and oh-so-efficient government “monitors” them for 21 days. Risk of infection to other travelers, or our citizens? MUCH > 0.01%, but risk increases exponentially with the number of (potentially) infected travelers arriving here.

    So option 1 is cheap, and virtually 100% effective. Option 2 will be ridiculously expensive to implement, doesn’t keep the virus from entering the U.S., and only needs to fail in once instance for a wide-spread problem to occur.

    Obola hasn’t let us down again - given stark, easy choices, he makes the wrong one yet again.

  • DHS: All passengers from Ebola affected countries to fly through 1 of 5 airports

    10/21/2014 11:16:31 AM PDT · 55 of 63
    Be Free to Raebie

    Exactly right - as with other Obola initiatives, make it appear you’re doing something while actually doing nothing.

    Further, this is a tacit admission that travelers can and do bring the disease here.

    Now if they could just make the leap that the best way to prevent the spread outside of Africa is to keep people from getting on the planes in the first place is the only sane approach. Does it make any sense at all that we would put the other 200-300 passengers at risk for the 8 to 16 hour flight? If they’re exposed, then presumably travel on from these 5 gateways unimpeded, you’re literally risking the population of the country.

  • Generals blast Obama's order of troops to fight Ebola

    10/13/2014 6:48:09 AM PDT · 5 of 24
    Be Free to Enlightened1

    Radical Islam: Radicals want to kill westerners and non-believers. They will literally do anything to terrorize and kill, in any country on the globe. They would love to hop a plane to America and, if not blow it up in mid-air, wreak terror on the ground here. OBAMA’s SOLUTION: drone attacks only, no boots on the ground, try to understand their anger, don’t provoke.

    Ebola: (Obama’s) CDC: No risk of it coming to America. We have sufficient protocols to ensure it can’t reach our shores and, if it does, to prevent it from spreading. OBAMA’S SOLUTION: Put “boots on the ground” in West Africa, while leaving air-travel wide open, and rely on the travel to honestly answer a questionnaire before boarding a pressurized germ-transportation tube with hundreds of additional petri-dishes, just waiting to carry the infection further.

    Have I got this about right?

  • Liberal grass roots gather to find a challenger for Hillary Clinton

    10/08/2014 5:00:19 AM PDT · 4 of 15
    Be Free to Cincinatus' Wife

    Weekly reminder (soon to be daily): “Hillary is a moderate centrist. Really. Trust us.”

  • A gasoline tax map that explains a lot

    09/23/2014 4:56:42 AM PDT · 31 of 61
    Be Free to Alberta's Child

    You might consider also that red-states with relatively higher fuel taxes have a few motivations for structuring their taxes that way. The first is that they’re often massive states, with the ratio of miles of State-maintained roads to population being very high. Another is that they don’t want to have a broad tax on the general population to support their road building, but extract those funds from the folks that actually use the roads, and somewhat proportionate to their use. Finally, charging taxes on fuel rather than income allows them to pull in revenue from people that aren’t necessarily State residents - particularly if tourism is a major component of their economies.

  • US Cracks Down on Companies Moving Overseas

    09/22/2014 6:58:55 PM PDT · 65 of 99
    Be Free to Oldeconomybuyer

    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

  • Joe Biden pulls off a gaffe hat trick

    09/18/2014 4:18:26 AM PDT · 10 of 24
    Be Free to TurboZamboni

    Clear the decks! Make way! Her Royal Thighness HILLARY coming through!

  • The Democrats' (and Media's) Obama Problem

    09/11/2014 5:23:10 AM PDT · 16 of 28
    Be Free to Zakeet

    The Dem’s are clearing out the old lies to make room for the new lies. There is no separation between Obama and his policies and what the Dem’s and Media (redundant) want and believe. The only want the gullible to believe that there is this far-out, incompetent guy name Obama, and then there’s “us”. If they want ANY chance of winning anything other than safe, gerry-mandered seats this fall, they need to create space and distance between their oh-so-”moderate” candidates and Obama.

  • Vicious beaver attacks Halifax snorkeler off Nova Scotia’s coast

    09/06/2014 9:44:30 AM PDT · 21 of 30
    Be Free to Loyalist

    There’s a long history of our northern neighbors chasing down these critters - maybe the tide is turning!

  • My dog Died Today

    08/22/2014 7:33:36 PM PDT · 9 of 179
    Be Free to occamrzr06

    May God bless you both as you deal with your grief. Dogs are truly one of His greatest gifts to man. I hope you find peace in your most pleasant memories. And I hope you’ll be able to find the strength to get another puppy sooner, rather than later. There’s nothing that brings joy to a home like a loving dog.

  • The One They Were Waiting For Can't Get Himself Off the Damn Golf Course

    08/22/2014 5:58:27 PM PDT · 5 of 10
    Be Free to old curmudgeon

    Exactly right! Let him golf - 36 holes a day, 7-days a week. Everyone’s moaning about his golfing so much, as if he would actually be doing something we agree with if he worked more “for the people”. He does more than enough damage with the few hours a day he DOES (allegedly) work.

    Does anybody really think he’d confront ISIS, the Taliban, or the Muslim Brotherhood with a few less rounds? Do you think he’d do with the economy what would actually improve it, or pass more cumbersome rules, regulations, and attempt to raise taxes further?

  • Global warming requires more frequent rethink of 'normal' weather: U.N. (seriesly!!)

    07/09/2014 11:17:59 AM PDT · 12 of 16
    Be Free to NormsRevenge

    This is really just more evidence of how crazy/stupid this whole debate really is. Just the fact that they’re using a 30-year average at all is ridiculous. The instrumentation to measure global temperatures accurately barely existed in the early 60’s (coverage issues, more than accuracy issues). Further, the period of ANY records of weather/climate history is barely 2,000 to 3,000 years: a small-fraction of our planet’s history. They infer the rest from scientific “tests”, where they’re loathe to share the data or methodologies.

    This kind of admission demonstrates the futility of debating the climate alarmists, as their goal of controlling the setting on some master planet-Earth thermostat will never be realized. They literally get alarmed by any departure from the “norms” of the 1961-1990 period. The fact is there was nothing normal about it, when considering the long history of Earth, where the only constant HAS been change.

  • Next Monday’s Ruling in Harris v. Quinn

    06/29/2014 9:18:39 AM PDT · 13 of 18
    Be Free to 11th_VA

    If you call it “reparations”, then you might have a chance ...

  • Tipsy Hillary spills real feelings: Obama’s a joke with ‘no hand on the (expletive) tiller,’

    06/28/2014 6:38:08 PM PDT · 15 of 58
    Be Free to SeekAndFind

    I don’t buy any of this Clinton/Obama feud B.S. What you’re hearing and seeing is the beginning of the Hillary 2016 campaign. She & Bill know that the Democrats in general, and Obama and his policies specifically are unmitigated disasters. They know that there is Z-E-R-O chance of a Hillary presidency if she can be tied to them.

    So what to do? Afterall, she was Obama’s S.O.S., and neck-deep in all of it.

    Create a narrative giving the appearance of dislike, disagreement and distrust. This is classic stuff - creating space, or distance between the 2 of them. I can already hear the interviews about how she disagreed with this or that. Of course, she spoke her mind, but Obama wouldn’t listen. Then, after 3 or 4 years of frustration, she realized she just couldn’t be a part of it anymore, and left State. Yeah, sure ...

  • Los Angeles Kings Win Stanley Cup In DOuble Overtime

    06/14/2014 5:57:50 AM PDT · 19 of 24
    Be Free to NTHockey
    Too bad the game hinged on a blown call by the referee.

    Sour grapes! Brian Boyle's short-handed goal only happened because of a non-call in the neutral-zone, when Hagelin checked the King's D (Voynov) into the boards when the 2 were chasing down a loose puck - and BEFORE either got to the puck. It was clear interference, but play went on and Boyle scored. There wouldn't have been an OT if this were called. Plus, anyone that beats the Rangers is my favorite team of the moment. ("LET'S GO FLYERS!")

  • President Obama Was Right

    06/07/2014 5:50:26 PM PDT · 23 of 80
    Be Free to Innovative

    Brooks is a good little brown-shirt, doing his best to protect Dear Leader.

    I didn’t bother clicking through - just the excerpt is enough to make me want to puke. Now we’re talking about degrees of terrorism (the Taliban is not as bad as Al Qaeda)!?!?

    We are still at war in Afghanistan. It’s not the Afghans we’re fighting, it’s the Taliban. Team Obama just negotiated the release of 5 top-commanders in the enemy’s “Army”, to get back a traitor and deserter. There is no way to spin this as good.

  • Harry Reid's Koch Brothers Dementia

    05/15/2014 3:44:15 PM PDT · 16 of 17
    Be Free to Kaslin

    Crazy Uncle Harry is off his meds again!

  • Rise of Oceans Due to Melting Antarctic Ice Sheet Is 'Unstoppable'

    05/12/2014 6:01:36 PM PDT · 65 of 108
    Be Free to QT3.14

    OMG! That makes the potential for catastrophe even greater! All that extra ice means even more water when it melts!

    Oh NOOOOSSSSS! What shall we do?!?!


  • Where is that place that they have the peanuts on the floor?

    05/09/2014 6:51:02 PM PDT · 45 of 75
    Be Free to SamAdams76

    My first real job (late 70’s), I was a techie for a company that did computer systems for credit-unions. There was a client in Boston - the Boston Telephone Workers C.U. that I had to be on site with for some reason or another, and the sales-guy came with us. Of course, that meant entertaining the client with dinner and drinks. The client offices were in an old bank building on Milk St., and a few blocks’ walk from there was a place near the old Boston Garden called Betty’s Rolls Royce. I remember the steaks, the Guinness on tap, and the peanuts on the floor. YUM times 3!!!

  • Do we have a resident computer expert here today?

    05/09/2014 7:29:01 AM PDT · 22 of 39
    Be Free to LouAvul

    I’ve seen behavior similar to that when the print-drivers are not updated; when sending to a printer in something other than HP PCLx format; or when the file-size of the print-job overwhelms the memory of the printer. You said you’d updated the drivers so, assuming they’re all Win7 capable (and you’re not trying to operate in some XP compatibility mode), then scratch that from the list.

    To address the other 2, make sure the driver you’re using is the PCLx (PCL6, I think is current) version. Also, check to see if you’re attempting to print “high quality” output, like 600 or 1200 dpi (dots-per-inch). If you’re doing just office quality print-out (not photos), then 300 dpi is more than sufficient, and should easily print within the memory capacity of the printer.

    I forget where, but somewhere in the Adobe Reader or Win7 printer-driver options is “feature” to either begin print immediately, or to queue the output, then blast it all to the printer at once. If it’s a many-page doc, then that could also be a huge file, and where sending immediately MIGHT help.

  • CEOs Of Stock Exchanges Brawl On CNBC Over High Freq. Trading As NYSE Floor Traders Go Crazy

    04/05/2014 7:37:35 AM PDT · 30 of 30
    Be Free to Go_Raiders

    I did not mean to say costs would not have come down. I did mean to say costs would not have come down as much. There was a club, if not cabal, of Wall St. firms that actively acted against electronic trading, ECN’s, ATS’s, and HFT’s - not because they were bad, but because their protected profits from market-making and high commission rates were threatened.

    Without these advancements, specifically including the HFT’s and the brokers that embraced them, it’s a fact fully-loaded costs of trade and settlement would not have come down as much as they have.

    People complain (as witnessed in this CNBC clip) about the billions that HFT’s make, but say not a word about the 10’s or 100’s of billions saved because of lower aggregate trading costs.

    The fact remains that, whatever small cost per-share or trade is resultant from the “friction” of trading (embedded costs), long-term investors should view this as largely irrelevant to their potential or actual investment returns. Don’t believe me - do the math. What does 1/10-cent of incremental cost do to your investment return on stock you buy and hold for 5-years before selling? We’re talking 100ths of a percentage point.

    Now if you’re a trader, not an investor, and trying to out-gun a HFT from your e-Trade account while sitting in your home-office, then good luck to you. You’re fighting a nuke with a water-pistol. But then again, individual traders trying to beat the Wall St. pros has never been a reliable avocation.

  • CEOs Of Stock Exchanges Brawl On CNBC Over High Freq. Trading As NYSE Floor Traders Go Crazy

    04/04/2014 9:58:29 AM PDT · 28 of 30
    Be Free to Go_Raiders

    You’re guilty of what you accuse me of ...

    Your premise is that the costs, spreads, and speeds would have dropped without HFT’s. I was in the business (not the HFT side), and I know this is not true. Much of the cost of trading is fixed in nature, and very high. Certainly, some of the spend was only there and done to accommodate the HFT’s “need for speed” (NYSE Mahwah data-center, for example, or NASDAQ selling data-center rack-space to trading firms (read: HFT’s), where the price of rack-space went up the closer your rack was to the matching engine rack). I think this should have been banned too - everyone should have level-field access to the exchanges. But, if my algo is better than yours, or faster than yours, or my trade idea is better than yours, that shouldn’t be punished or regulated.

    The higher volumes of shares and trades gave an exponentially larger base over which to spread the high fixed costs. Without these larger volumes, the costs embedded in every trade would have been higher - and by more than the HFT’s costs add (IMHO).

    And I certainly don’t agree that insider trading is OK. To the contrary - the markets can and should price efficiently when all PUBLICLY available information is known to the most market participants. Insider trading allows a participant to trade off of info that their counter-party doesn’t know and can’t know, which should be punished severely. That said, if they don’t know out of ignorance - well, that’s capitalism.

  • My Vehicle Milage Has Dropped 5%+. How About Yours? (VANITY)

    04/04/2014 5:30:45 AM PDT · 52 of 112
    Be Free to Haiku Guy

    Air-intake filter; fuel filter; tire pressure, wear & wheel alignhment; spark plugs; injector cleaner (use something with Chevron Techron in it).

    If you want to rule-in or rule-out ethanol, check, and find a local station that sells ethanol-free gas (”boat fuel”). It’s more expensive, but in a couple of tanks you’ll see if mileage improves or not.

    Also, some cars can reset their fuel-mix computer by pulling the battery cable, then turning on the lights or stomping the brake pedal to dissipate any lingering charge. Basically, a re-boot of the on-board computer. It’ll have to re-learn and re-set the fuel-air mix after “learning” what gas is in the tank.

  • CEOs Of Stock Exchanges Brawl On CNBC Over High Freq. Trading As NYSE Floor Traders Go Crazy

    04/02/2014 2:49:34 PM PDT · 25 of 30
    Be Free to Go_Raiders

    Free lunches? Not at all. They’re a part of the trading eco-system, just as long-investors are. They provide liquidity into the market just by their presence and, yes, they take a little whether money is moving in, or moving out. If anyone is looking for a free lunch, it seems it would be you. You’d like to buy or sell, and without the people in between you and the trade counter-party to be compensated for the service they provide. HFT’s make sure your trade is filled nearly instantaneously, at a price you’re apparently happy to have (else, why did you trade at all?).

    In the pre-HFT days, the “tax” was 10 times worse, as “market makers” only let you buy at the ask, and sell at the bid, and they kept the spreads a mile wide. They’d pocket the difference. Until ECN’s, you couldn’t really see depth-of-market, so even small trades could move a market as some crook-in-a-suit sniffed your intention, and pulled away their bid, so you’d have to pay even more.

    My point is that you should have an idea of what you’re willing to pay for your investment. It’s either a good deal at a given price, or it’s not. If it’s not, then don’t do it. No one is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to buy anything, let alone line the pockets of a HFT. But if you want to buy a stock, some broker(s), market-makers, or HFT is going to nick you a bit - same as always.

    Where HFT is dangerous is that they will immediately sniff-out an imbalance, and pull all their bids and offers, and stand back while the market goes nuts. In the pre-HFT days, one of the responsibilities of the market makers was to maintain an orderly market, and they were required to maintain a 2-sided book at all times (posting both bids and offers), sometimes (though rarely) getting the short-end of the stick. There is no such requirement for HFT’s, though it’s been discussed. Today, if the market gets spooked, they can stand back and watch chaos ensue.

    At the end of the day, HFT’s are doing ALMOST exactly the same thing as the suits that came before them, only the amount they take on any given trade is infinitely smaller than what it was before they were around. This is better, no?

    Is it perfect? No. Do they make a ton of money? Yes. Is it better than the old model? 99.9% of the time, yes.

  • Adam Weinstein: Arrest Climate Change Deniers

    04/02/2014 5:47:41 AM PDT · 14 of 49
    Be Free to LeoMcNeil

    Want to make one of their heads explode? Ask them some of these questions:

    1. Given numerous periods in Earth’s history of significantly warmer and colder climates, why are the climate observations during minuscule time when mankind could measure accurately considered the “right” climate for all time?

    1a. Similarly, given sea-life fossils uncovered miles upon miles inland across the globe, why are the current ocean levels and shorelines the “right” ones to maintain forever? And can we?

    2. The scientific community’s “consensus” has generated models with dire predictions for warming, rising oceans, increases in the number and severity of hurricanes and tornadoes. 99.9% of these models failed to predict the what actually occurred: no statistically significant warming for 15+ years; reductions in the number and severity of hurricanes and tornadoes over this period; and restoration of ice-shelfs and glaciers through colder than normal winters in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Why should we believe their models now?

    3. What is the cost - literally and figuratively - of remediation efforts to eliminate or reverse man-caused climate effects? What happens if, for example, Americans tax themselves heavily, while China (for example) continues unabated?

    4. Could monies spent on climate-change research and remediation save more lives and improve human longevity if spent on things like cancer research, anti-terrorism efforts? How many have died because of limits on spending in these areas due to climate research spending?

    5. If the globe warms, won’t deaths due to severe winter calamities be reduced? Fewer car-wrecks on iced-over highways; fewer people freezing in the homes when they can’t afford to heat them?

    6. If the globe warms, won’t the global capacity for crops be enhanced, as more land will be suitable for farming? Won’t this help with efforts to combat starvation?

    If could go on and on ...

  • How to Make Your Headlights Shine Like New

    04/02/2014 5:19:21 AM PDT · 52 of 72
    Be Free to ourworldawry

    Toothpaste! Yes - it works, is readily available, and cheap. I use the Arm & Hammer type, then follow it up with auto-specific Plast-X, which is a combo plastic scratch remover and wax. I don’t know if it has a UV protector or not, but they look great when done.

    TIP: have a spray bottle of water, and use it when you’re doing the toothpaste step. You need to keep it wet so you can polish the lens. Not so much as to wash off the toothpaste, but not to little or the cloth drags. When done the polish step, spray and wipe all of the toothpaste off, and dry the lens, then use the Plast-X.

  • Krauthammer: ObamaCare 7.1 Million A 'Phony Number'

    04/01/2014 7:15:03 PM PDT · 21 of 36
    Be Free to Hotlanta Mike

    He lied about keeping your plan; he lied about keeping your doctor; he lied about paying lower premiums; he lied about better plans; he lied when he said it wasn’t a tax.

    Why on God’s green earth would anyone believe the 7.1 million number???

  • CEOs Of Stock Exchanges Brawl On CNBC Over High Freq. Trading As NYSE Floor Traders Go Crazy

    04/01/2014 6:06:09 PM PDT · 22 of 30
    Be Free to Go_Raiders

    Sorry, I can’t agree with you on this. Why someone buys or sells, or how often, is their own business. If you’re a buy-and-hold investor, then you should be looking to buy stocks at a price you think will allow you to sell at a profit later. If you think these high-frequency guys are driving up prices, making you pay more, then aren’t those same guys keeping prices up, making it more lucrative when you sell? Or aren’t people that are selling today getting a higher price than they would without the HFT’s?

    The reality is that we used to pay 6- to 10-cents PER SHARE to trade, and bid/ask spreads on NASDAQ or OTC stocks were 1/16th (6.25-cents) or 1/8th (12.5-cents). Now just about anything you want to buy can be had for flat-commissions, and bid-ask spreads are a penny or less. That’s because the HFT guys are doing with computers what floor brokers and retail brokers used to do all the time. They just do it more quickly, efficiently and cheaply.

    If you’re an investor, then these guys have virtually no impact on your long-term returns, and maybe even help them, because the market is priced more efficiently by their presence.

  • Still on Windows XP? Here’s Some Bad Advice

    03/29/2014 5:18:16 AM PDT · 16 of 77
    Be Free to Las Vegas Dave

    If your XP machine is only used for storage, then there’s really no reason to update it. If you connect to the internet with it for browsing or email, then you’re potentially exposed going forward, as hackers are going to go into overdrive trying to roll out new exploits.

    An alternative would be to take the drive out, and put it either in your Win7 PC as a second drive (assuming an open bay), or into an external case that you can hook to the Win7 machine via a USB cord. That would give you access to the photos.

    A better option, assuming you’d be devastated if you lost those photos, would be to upload them to a web-based file storage service (DropBox, Google-drive, SkyDrive, etc.), where you can access from anywhere, and not risk a hard-drive failure and loss. Then you could “decommission” the XP machine.

    If you don’t want to have your photos out on the internet, regardless of assurances about privacy, safety and security, then buy a USB back-up drive (1TB drives can be had for $60 or $70) and take copies of everything you want to keep. Encrypt and password-protect your backup drive, and store somewhere away from your main PC. You’d then have the original drive AND a backup, just in case.

  • 14 earthquakes recorded in Oklahoma since Friday

    03/23/2014 7:19:50 AM PDT · 74 of 80
    Be Free to tbw2

    5. Beginning with the “wildcatters” in the early 20th century, oil-extraction was relieving pressure that would otherwise have naturally been building in this tectonic ridge area. Aggressive investment in oil-alternatives put a damper on demand, and less extraction occurs, allowing pressure to build again. This increase in the natural plate-pressures is then occasionally released as tremors and earth-quakes. Ergo, lack of drilling and oil extraction, as a direct result of Federal Government policies, is causing earthquakes.


    It makes as much sense as the loony explanations from the left!

  • Malaysian leader: plane's disappearance deliberate

    03/15/2014 6:48:17 AM PDT · 11 of 16
    Be Free to Fai Mao

    They would (try to kill the passengers) if the intent was to avoid a “Lets Roll!” scenario.

    (RIP Todd Beamer)

  • Justice Scalia: 'Constitution is not a living organism'

    03/15/2014 6:41:58 AM PDT · 14 of 24
    Be Free to markomalley

    Nice to hear a Supreme say it, but a shame it’s “news” when one does. It’s just common sense, and true to what the founders said, did, and intended.

    As to the “living document” of politicians, that’s true as well - from THEIR seats in government. They have the ability and power, through a defined process, to amend the constitution. But ONLY when they can get enough support from both houses, and a signature from a sitting president.

    I’ve always been appalled how the Dems just want to waive their hands, and “interpret” new law and new rights into being through what is, effectively, mob rule. Equally bad is their history of abridging existing rights in the same way (2nd Amendment anyone?).