Friday, June 11, 2010
I note that we're taking the time-honored tactic of cutting things guaranteed to cause the public to react with outrage, rather than cutting administrative positions, travel, office supplies and things that can be cut without as much damage. That should surprise no one.
But it's more important to note that the state of NC is looking to close a budget hole estimated to be between $800 million and $1 billion in the proposed $19 billion budget. That amount is (roughly) in the 4-5% range. The UNC System is being asked to take a cut from their $7.4 billion budget that is (again roughly) in the 0.7- 2.4% range. That is not only a lot smaller cut, percentage-wise, but means that other things that the state does, such as roads and police protection, will face heavier cuts so the academics can keep their personal playgrounds intact.
Being a graduate of one of the UNC System schools, I understand the value of an education and am appreciative of my opportunity to get one, funded in part by the taxpayers. One of the things I gained in that education was an appreciation of the concept that "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch." Good managers understand this, and they know that there are always trade offs in budgeting. If I want more of A, then I must accept less of B, C and D. They understand that when times are good, expansion is possible, but that when times are hard, contraction often becomes necessary for survival.
It would seem that Mr. Bowles may not be the best manager we could have hired.
The legislation announced Thursday says that companies such as broadband providers, search engines, or software firms that the government selects "shall immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed" by the Department of Homeland Security.
The US may not be a dictatorship yet, but they're working hard on the enabling legislation.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
The seven experts who advised President Obama on how to deal with offshore drilling safety after the Deepwater Horizon explosion are accusing his administration of misrepresenting their views to make it appear that they supported a six-month drilling moratorium -- something they actually oppose.
The experts, recommended by the National Academy of Engineering, say Interior Secretary Ken Salazar modified their report last month, after they signed it, to include two paragraphs calling for the moratorium on existing drilling and new permits.
Of course, I'm sure no one in the Obama White House has any knowledge of this.
Monday, June 07, 2010
Now, for those of us who have been reading Whiskey and Gunpowder or The Daily Reckoning, this is hardly news. I just note it so that I can give you the article's money quote.
“You can have lower rates and deflation, higher rates and higher inflation or the nightmare scenario of higher rates and deflating asset prices,” he said.
“If the nightmare scenario plays out as I suspect it may then the debt situation gets worse. There is currently no exit strategy and the reaction to the crisis of policy makers remains a big worry.”
As a result, Fry is telling investors to play it safe and buy physical assets like land.
“I don’t want to scare anyone but I am considering investing in barbed wire and guns, things are not looking good and rates are heading higher,” he said.Might want to see to food stores, water purification, medical supplies, farming supplies and equipment and so on, Sparky. If you think its going to get that bad, then you'd get ready for real, don'tcha think?
Sunday, June 06, 2010
It's no secret that the boys of Pointe du Hoc, like the rest of our WWII veterans, are leaving us at an ever-increasing rate. The physical reminders of the war, the trophies brought back by GIs, are also disappearing, but at a slower rate. We never think of the places as fading away as well--but they do.
In one place, for a small amount of time, a French company is trying to hold back the sands of time and save Pointe du Hoc.
Thank you, mes amis.
Or, a simpler explanation would be that the old wind bag has been catered to and told how wonderful she was for years, and she has finally showed her true colors because she thinks it's all true.
Edit, 6/7/2010 2027: Adios, you old windbag.