Saturday, July 25, 2009

Driving home a point

Hundreds of people from around the country tell Newschannel 36 they will boycott Concord Mills Mall because a conservative-themed kiosk called “Free Market Warrior” will be removed. T-shirts and bumper stickers with slogans like “Impeach Obama,” “Al Qaeda’s 2 favorite days: 9/11/01 & 11/04/08,” and “Obama’s coming, Cling to Your Guns and Religion" were sold at the kiosk.

I'm not going to say that Simon Property Group is legally wrong to fail to renew Loren Spivack's lease for his kiosk. The mall is private property, and the "free speech" argument only applies tenuously, if at all. If a given store is causing problems, a fairly normal response is to do something about it.

BUT (you knew that was coming, right?)...

Given what's easily discoverable about the Simon Property Group (they're in default on loans, another Simon property forced the cancellation of the Atlanta Tea Party earlier this month and Melvin Simon, the co-chairman, is a big Obama supporter), one has to wonder if there is an agenda at work designed to silence a certain point of view.

Concord Mills Mall is in my AO, and I've visited it many times (there's a Bass Pro there, along with some other stores with a high "cool factor"). I was looking forward to a visit to Charlotte's South Park Mall (another Simon property) on my next trip to Moscow-on-the-Catawba.

Guess where my money will not be spending for the foreseeable future (defined as, "Until they back off")?

However, Mr. Spivack has a web site that sells his goods--and some of those will make excellent gifts. I really like the Goldwater poster, and the Republican Presidents playing cards is too cool for words....

You're doing it WRONG!

An Albany, Ore., man was cleaning out a deceased relative's home in Eastern Oregon when he discovered what he thought was a bomb, police said. So he put it in his vehicle and drove it back to Albany, where he delivered it Friday to his hometown police station.

Do I need to say more?

Attention residents of Raleigh, NC

City Councilman Thomas Crowder is telling you that he needs a new job.

For years City Councilman Thomas Crowder has heard complaints from his southwest Raleigh constituents about a practice that is practical to some and trashy to others: parking in the front yard.

Now Crowder has gone on the offensive against anyone who habitually puts tires to lawn. He has written a new ordinance that, if adopted, would require thousands of Raleigh residents to get their cars out of the front yard and possibly spend hundreds of dollars to pave parking areas.

"If it's not a problem it shouldn't be imposing on anybody," Crowder said. "It's an environmental issue. It's a stormwater and water quality issue. ... [I]t's a quality of life issue."

People, here's the deal--we are allowing too many (as in > 1) of these idiots who believe that they "know it all" into positions of power where they can muck things up for the rest of us. Trust me, the Family Freeholder, if we lived in Raleigh, could not meet his two parking place limit--without selling several vehicles. I suspect that there are thousands of families that actually live in Raleigh who will not be able to do so as well.

A revolution against the statist asshats like Crowder is brewing. Sign up today while all we have to do is vote them out.

Friday, July 24, 2009

TOTUS lets down POTUS

Twice apparently, since the Big O's "impromptu" not-an-apology for making a racist remark (Hey, if no one else will say it I will) was, shall we say, a bit jumbled:

"Because this has been ratcheting up and I helped contribute to ratcheting it up, I want to make clear that in my choice of words I unfortunately gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge Police Department or Sgt. Crowley specifically and I could have calibrated those words differently."

He also wants to "share a beer" with Sgt. Crowley. I hope Crowley has the good sense to decline that offer--I wouldn't allow myself to be used any more by the Resident Alien in the White House than I already had.

Well, let's hope the NRA reads the Washington Post

(Via Say Uncle)

Because they really need to watch Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, Colorado Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet. They are hardly "friends of the NRA".

Don't be fooled by the screeching Senators from California, Boxer and Feinstein, either. Despite their protestations during the debate on the Thune Amendment, they aren't big supporters of State's rights.

grumble, grumble freakin' politicians grumble

Ever heard of the "Law of Unintended Consequences"?

Sure, we all know what the "Law of Unintended Consequences" is--an action is taken that causes reactions that the instigator did not foresee. Usually this is because the instigator is a myopic idiot with the cognitive abilities of a garden slug.

{Cue the US Congress and the latest minimum wage increase.}

The headline in the Charlotte Observer reads "Minimum-wage boost has mixed benefits". This is funny in itself, because the article simply chronicles the inevitable outcome of government meddling in the marketplace--and if any of these are "benefits", well, Sparky, you have some seriously skewed values.

At Bojangles' restaurants operated by the company's largest franchise, a chicken biscuit costs a little more these days. So does the sweet tea.

Those higher prices are because the people behind the counter are getting paid a little more.

Funny how businesses pass along increased costs to the consumers. Gee, they're so greedy--they don't want to help the poor-and-starvin'. Or maybe they do, by avoiding joining their ranks.

“We're already experiencing a decrease in sales because of the economy,” said Tommy Haddock, president of Tri-Arc Food Systems, the largest franchise of Charlotte-based Bojangles' system, with locations from the Triangle to southern Virginia. “When you have an increase in costs with a decrease in sales, it's a double whammy.”

Annual expenses at Tri-Arc, which employs about 2,100 at 40 restaurants, will rise by $1.2 million because of the new minimum wage, Haddock said. The company raised prices by about 3 percent across the board to help offset, though not completely cover, the higher expense.

So because a bunch of Congresscritters wanted to feel good about "doing something to help the poor" (along with pandering for their votes), Bojangles customers, many of whom face economic problems of their own, get to pay 3% more for a meal.

Personally I think Tri-Arc is crazy. I'd have raised prices enough to cover the entire increase.

The Economic Policy Institute, a liberal-leaning think tank in Washington, predicts that today's increase will generate $5.5 billion in additional consumer spending during the next 12 months.

I suppose that's going to happen, but I also suspect that it won't be as much as that, as some folks are simply priced out of buying as much. Of course, those that loose their jobs will spend even less...

Meanwhile, David Neumark, a professor at the University of California at Irvine, predicts that the wage increase will kill 300,000 jobs held by young workers.

As a father of teenagers, I can tell you that jobs for them are difficult to come by for a number of reasons. This isn't going to improve things.

The article goes on, but the upshot is this--the economy is bad, people aren't spending like they used to (which I view as a good thing), jobs are hard to find, and this is causing prices to go up, which will lead to less spending, which leads to fewer jobs, which will lead to even less spending and so on. Eventually the loop runs out, but how far down the road?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

No, this isn't Harry Potter

(Via A View From the Porch)

If there has ever been a time for these articles, it's now--Dark Arts for the Good Guys. There are, in order, Bribery Part 1 and Part 2 and Fight and Flight Part 1 and Part 2. Hopefully there's many more to follow.

The guy's a treasure trove of useful information.

Um-m-m...that's not quite correct, sir

(Via the Drudge Report)

"...and the president says, 'You're going to destroy my presidency.' "

There are so many things one can say to this, such as "That's the plan." However, the truth of it is that Obama's over-reaching, hubris-filled agenda contained the seeds of its failure (As in, "You can fool some of the people some of the time..."). If we're lucky, those "green shoots" we keep hearing about are those seeds starting to grow.

Ornery cuss that I am, I just can't wait for harvest time.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Yes It Is!

(Via the Drudge Report)

Comrade O says that "health care reform" isn't about him:

President Barack Obama on Monday shot back at Republicans who have suggested they can win political ground by opposing his healthcare reform proposals.

"This isn't about me. This isn't about politics. This is about a health care system that is breaking America's families, breaking America's businesses, and breaking America's economy," Obama said on a visit to a Washington hospital.

Regardless what the Stupid Party has said, yes my dear Comrade O, it is about you. You've put yourself way out there on this one, using a huge amount of your decreasing political capital to shove this thing through Congress and down the throats of the US population. And right now, it doesn't look like your snake oil cure for what you say ails America's health care system is selling all that well.

Have any of you noticed that the only groups appealing for this "fix" are either the perpetually outraged "health care activists", the government, or the AMA? All of these groups have a vested interest in this particular piece of madness--the activists because it funds their activities (and thus their livelihoods), the government (they get to contol 20-something percent of the economy directly) and the AMA, because they hope to be eaten last.

Are there problem in US health care? Sure there are, and I believe that you can lay most of them at the feet of our interfering federal and state governments. Take away their interference in the marketplace, and eventually a lot of the silliness will be squeezed out, leaving individuals, insurers, doctors and hospitals to work things out to their mutual benefit. You're young, healthy, and just want something to cover you in case the JetSki decides to do the mamba on you one Saturday at the lake? It would be available. Want to pay for cradle-to-grave full coverage of everything, from hangnails to a brain tumor? Sure, if you have the money, honey. You don't want insurance? Sure, and remember, In God We Trust. You will pay cash up front. You truly can't afford insurance? There are "charity hospitals", and there will more, with the government's nose out of the way and costs reduced.

Our governments need to stick to their knitting, as outlined in their respective constitutions. Before We the People decide to take their knitting needles and stick them in an uncomfortable place--requiring them to need some rather interesting health care services.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

God save us from the well-meaning

The stimulus bill "includes help for those hardest hit by our economic crisis," President Obama promised when he signed the bill into law on Feb. 17. "As a whole, this plan will help poor and working Americans."

But has analyzed data tracking how the stimulus money is being given out across the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and it has found a perverse pattern: the states hardest hit by the recession received the least money. States with higher bankruptcy, foreclosure and unemployment rates got less money. And higher income states received more.

We mean well! Really we do! We tried real hard! It isn't our fault it didnt' work!

Those are the cries/excuses/rationalizations of the Perpetual Do-Gooder, who is always ready to do good--as long as they can find/force someone else to foot the bill.

Those of us connected to the Real World know that part of the learning process is to dissect one's failures in an attempt to learn from them. In this case, why did the money go to the "wrong places"? There seems to be some disagreement. An unknown Congressional staffer says

"The stimulus bill is designed to help those who have been hurt by the economic downturn.... Do you see disparity out there in where the money is going? Certainly," a Democratic congressional staffer knowledgeable about the process told "The people to talk to are in the administration...The administration is deciding where [the money] flows."

OK. So what is the administration's explanation?

An Obama administration official told that "it is not as simple as looking where the money goes. You could have someone who lives in Maryland and works in Virginia and they are benefited from money given to the Virginia firm even though they live in Maryland" She also noted that it didn't really matter who got the money because "giving out money is good for everyone. If you give the money to an old person, they will spend it and that will create more jobs."

She also said that Congress was responsible for deciding where the money would go. "We didn't write the bill. We let Congress write the bill," she said.

So, really it isn't anyone's fault. We mean well! Really we do! We tried real hard! Let us have another chance and we can do better! Yes We Can!

The chairmen of the Senate and House Appropriation Committees, Senator Dan Inouye, D-Hawaii, and Congressman David Obey, D-Wis., have already opened the door for a second stimulus plan this year. Obey and Inouye have both indicated that a second bill might be needed if the economy didn't improve fast enough, and Obey is on record saying that more money should have been included in the bill. Neither politician's office was willing to provide any on the record comments.

Change that will drive us all into the poor house.