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Stage 1

Tour de FranceRotterdam to Brussels

Distance: 223.5 kilometers

01 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank 5hrs 19mins 38secs [yellow jersey]
02 Tony Martin (Ger) Team HTC – Columbia at 0.10secs [white jersey]
03 David Millar (Gbr) Garmin – Transitions at 0.20
04 Lance Armstrong (USA) Team Radioshack at 0.22
05 Geraint Thomas (Gbr) Sky Professional Cycling Team at 0.23
06 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana at 0.27
07 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin – Transitions at 0.28
08 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack at same time
09 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team at 0.32
10 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team Milram at 0.35
11 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team at same time
12 Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini at same time
13 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Team Radioshack at same time
14 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team HTC – Columbia at same time
15 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at 0.36

38 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampe [green jersey]
192 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Quick Step [red numbers]

Radio Shack is wearing the yellow numbers as the lead team.

Note: I’m still building the spreadsheets to deal with 195 riders, as three are already withdrawn, one before the start and two from injuries in the rain during the Prologue.

July 4, 2010   2 Comments

Conventional Wisdom

When I want to know what the real conventional wisdom is among “mainstream economists” I listen to the Friday reports on the local economy by Dr Rick Harper director of the University of West Florida’s Hass Center for Business Research and Economic Development on the local NPR station, WUWF.

Dr Harper is definitely not shrill – not only does his volume control not have an 11, it doesn’t go above 3. This is the sort of bland that makes Wonderbread seem exciting. It is noted that “He represented Northwest Florida on Governor Jeb Bush’s Council of Economic Advisors from 2001 – 2006.”

If you go to Economic Reports and listen to the July 2nd show [it isn’t up yet], be prepared for a shock. It won’t be from Dr. Harper, it will be the contrast with what passes for “conventional wisdom” in the Village.

Be prepared to hear that the austerity moves in Europe are not a good idea because the economy isn’t strong enough coming out of the recession. Then there is his heresy that governments should run a surplus during boom times to cover the deficits during recessions. This wisdom is contained in that technical macro-economic phrase “save for a rainy day” which is entirely too complicated for regular folks without PhDs to understand. 😈

July 4, 2010   10 Comments

No Independence From Oil

Gulf Gusher symbolQuieter tonight on the coast as McClatchy explains: More BP oil spill fallout: Seaside fireworks displays cut back. A lack of money and barges being used for spill operations are cutting down on the July Fourth celebration.

This is no surprise: On Day 74 of spill, Mississippi is still unprepared for oil. The government of Mississippi exists on “the kindness of strangers”, i.e. Federal taxpayers, because “it is wrong to tax businesses and people” [who contribute to Mississippi politicians]. Apparently the voters of Mississippi enjoy being on “Federal welfare”, because they keep electing the same people.

The Local Puppy Trainer notes that Oil forces sea turtle eggs to East Coast. We are collecting the eggs from the local nesting sites and moving them to hatch on the East Coast of Florida. It may save the little turtles, but they are lost to the Gulf Coast forever, because sea turtles imprint on the location where they hatch and return there to lay eggs.

July 4, 2010   7 Comments

Invest 96

Tropical Storm flagThere has been an Invest running along the Northern Gulf Coast that really didn’t have much of a chance to get “interesting”, but a new one, Invest 96, has popped up in the Northwestern Caribbean that looks a lot like Alex, except that conditions are more favorable for development than they were for Alex.

If it develops it looks like the tracking will follow Alex’s path, or slightly to the North of it.

Bonnie is the next name on the list.

July 4, 2010   Comments Off on Invest 96

Independence Day

John Trumbull's Signing the Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security…

Independence wasn’t really achieved until September 3, 1783 when Britain signed the Treaty of Paris, and, to be factual, our current government only dates from March 4, 1789 when the first government under our Constitution was installed.

Liberty was not extended to all men until December 6, 1865 with ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery, nor were women given the one of the most important rights of men until August 26, 1920 with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment recognizing their votes.

In truth, until July 2, 1964 when Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law, there was no mechanism to force government to recognize the rights of all American citizens.

[Note: John Trumbull’s Signing the Declaration of Independence is famous, not a photograph. There is “artistic license” involved, but such is the case with all creation myths, people always want to “embellish” things.]

July 4, 2010   9 Comments