Saturday, April 07, 2007

Michigan on the skids

(Via Drudge)

Could the state of Michigan be the first state to be forced into bankruptcy? If they don't get some smarter people soon, maybe so.

An iPod for every kid? Are they !#$!ing idiots?

For those who aren't aware, Michigan is in the throes of an economic crisis/disaster, brought on by the decline of traditional industries, high taxes and years of foolish government spending. At this point, the state is something like $1 billion in the red and sinking fast. What is the State government's (lead by Democrats, I might add) solution to the problem?
  • " a MP3 player or iPod for every school child in Michigan."
  • "...pledge $100 million to make better downtowns."
  • "...the promise of tax hikes."
  • "...floating $5 billion in revenue bonds to pay for retiree health care..."
  • "...cover 50 percent of the cost of catastrophic health insurance for everyone in the place..."
As the Detroit News puts it, "We have come to the conclusion that the crisis Michigan faces is not a shortage of revenue, but an excess of idiocy."

Useful idiots, at that.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Common sense in education

You know, I've always heard good things about Idaho. It seem I was hearing right. Hats off to the Twin Falls, Idaho school system.

Junior high school students in this southern Idaho town who owe money on past cafeteria lunches have received a firsthand lesson in economics and debt.

It came in the lunch room, not the classroom, when students with outstanding balances saw their hot food trays publicly dumped into the garbage and replaced with sack lunches.

It seems that some of the students owed as much as $600 to the cafeteria. Worse yet,

"What we found is that most of the students had the money, but they just weren't paying for their lunch," Henderson said. "On Monday, some of the students just went to their lockers and got the money to pay for their lunch."

So what the kids were doing was taking their lunch money, blowing it on something else, then eating for "free".

No word about whether or not the parents were aware of their offspring's financial shenanigans.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Remington Arms sold

(Via Timebomb 2000)

Remington Ams Co, based near me in Madison, NC, has been sold to Cerberus Capital Management LP, a private-equity firm, for $118 million. The sale includes $252 million in debt (ack!).

And that's about all we know now. I don't see anything horrible here, but as gun owners we need to keep an eye on this.

Edit 4/4/2007 18:18: The Shooting Wire reports that Cerberus also owns Bushmaster so this is looking pretty good.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Hm-m-m...growing a pair?

Bush Uses Recess Appointment Power to Install GOP Fundraiser Sam Fox as Ambassador

I chose to take this as a positive sign that the President is at least thinking about playing hardball.

E-e-evil Microsoft?

(Via Drudge Report)

The EU (pronounced Ew-w-w!) has decided that Microsoft must, in effect turn over it's intellectual property to rivals for free.

The Commission's expert, who was suggested for the post by Microsoft, goes on to calculate that even an average royalty rate of 1 per cent would be unacceptable for licensees. Prof Barrett states that a 0 per cent royalty would be "better".

I have no major love for Microsoft, but I'm not a Microsoft hater. I make my living in large part using their software, but I could do the same work with Macs or on open source. They're just another vendor as far as I'm concerned.

However, this is just socialist BS. 0%?! What sort of drugs are they taking in the EU?

If I was Bill Gates, I'd tell them to go piss up a rope, and then pull out of every EU country. I'd put a block on sales, close the offices and support facilities, bar them from the MS web site and everything else I could think off. No support for any Microsoft software they own. Then I'd sit there and wait. If they come back to the table with something realistic, fine--we can talk. If they never come back, then that's fine too. I don't think Microsoft will go bankrupt over the loss.

You can't do it too often, but sometimes you really do have to tell someone to take their business elsewhere.

Well duh

(Via Drudge Report)

In the much-watched first quarter of presidential fundraising, the Democratic candidates raised significantly more than their Republican counterparts, creating a huge gap that is putting added pressure on a party already struggling to regroup after the November elections.

And you expect people to give you money when you're running away from your party base and your historical principles? When you're working as hard as possible to present the image of "Hey, we're Democrat Lite!" Just how stupid is the RNC?

Yeah, I know. Pretty stupid.

Monday, April 02, 2007

A closet full of clothes

Our grandparents, great-grandparents and further back into history did not have the closet full of clothes that even the least of us take pretty much for granted. A very few working outfits (perhaps only one) and a "Sunday go-to-meeting suit" pretty much defined the sartorial standard for men. Women were usually in the same boat.

Think about it--really old houses have no closets. Did you ever wonder why? Hint--it had to do with a lack of need.

Peak Oilers have made a big point in discussing the changes that will occur when (and as I say, if) cheap energy means an end to easy/cheap global transportation. I've read their thoughts on how many of us will return to eating only what is grown nearby. (Bananas? What are they?) Houses will be made of materials easily available in the local area, and so on.

I can't remember anyone discussing clothes. In a day when most clothing is made far beyond our national borders (and a lot is made beyond our hemisphere), if easy and cheap transport disappeared tomorrow, we'd shortly find our collective arses hanging out in the breeze.

Wired documents what happened when "...educator and designer Kelly Cobb decided to make a man's suit only from materials produced within 100 miles of her home...".

Something to think about when your making your preps for Bad Times A-Comin'.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Just do it

The Democrats are playing brinkmanship with the troops on the ground, larding up the latest funding bill with all sorts of pork, then daring President Bush to veto it. They're playing politics with the war, pure and simple.

Mr. President, a piece of advice--grow a pair and veto the damn thing. You're the president. Get up in that bully pulpit and start acting like one. Put the laundry list of all the pork that has been inserted in the bill, along with the political posturing such as the withdrawal timetable, out there for everyone to see.

Make a theater show of it. Go on national TV from the Oval Office. Have the list printed on a long roll of paper, so you can stand up behind your desk and let it unroll--down from your hand, across the desk and onto the floor. In the other hand, hold up a single sheet of paper that has the actual war funding total on it.

If the Dems want to play politics, then let's give them a lesson.