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Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Republican Party continues to self destruct....or...Republican Party enters to win Monty Python's twit race

After you read the link above, watch this very funny skit from the 1980s and Monty Python's Flying Circus. This is good. See if you can spot the Republicans. That is a trick question...they are all Republican twits going after Chairman Bernanke. Keep it up boys and we'll have collectivism for 100 years.

Julius Peppers signs with Carolina for $16+ million for 1 year... the math...that is over $1 million a game. Congrats!

5,000 miles to think about it.

It is 5,218 miles from Washington D.C. to Buenos Aires, Argentina. So from Columbia, South Carolina to Buenos Aires it is just under 5,000. Like the Captain said to Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke "what were you thinking about when you cut them heads off them parking meters?" Luke just said "well, I guess you could say I wasn't thinking Captain." What do you suppose the Governor was thinking about? Like a horse that is too ready to go, seems to me a 5,000 mile ride for a tryst would give a man plenty of time to get all lathered up.

I'm going to be in Buenos Aires one day in July in a year to yet be determined. All I'll have on my mind is ducks and doves. And as they say in horse racing, "you can jot that one down pard."

Here is a heart throb from my younger days with a song that fits. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Pretenders and "The Adultress".

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Schmuck Hall of Shame: Was it worth it kid?

It has just been revealed that Governor Mark Sanford, in what appears to be an endless repeat of Ground Hog Day for the Republican Party, has just admitted he was in Argentina shacked up with an old friend. Well isn't that just spiffy? Explain that to your four beautiful sons dude. Then maybe you can find the words for your wife.
Many years ago I was outside the five star Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago visiting some friends. Real nice place. $500 a night. Some old homeless guy comes up to me and asked, "you staying here?" I told him yes. He asked me with his weather-worn face all scrunched up and head cocked to one side, "was it worth it kid? I mean was it really, really worth it?" I now ask that of the Governor. I have not seen the press conference yet but I just hope he did not have his wife with him and humiliated her like all the schmucks before him.
It is said, correctly, that Republicans have a Jezebel problem while Democrats have a tax and charity giving problem. Well, at least Tim Geithner gets to go home tonight to his loving wife.

Do yourself a favor and find 30 minutes to watch this.

This is from the early 1960s, right after Friedman wrote Capitalism and Freedom. These words will be thirsted for in a brief short time.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I am Neda.

Shot dead in the streets of Tehran by the militia on a motorcycle. Neda means "voice" in Farsi. She is a martyr in a country where martyrs mean a lot. I remind all...66% of Iran's population is 33 years of age or younger.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Read Charles Krauthammer and you know what to think.

Let us not mince words. Iran is a tyrannical, misogynistic, corrupt thug theocracy that is a stain on the civilized world.

The idea below was suggested in an article in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. Google had a Persian translator up and working as of today. Now we are taking baby! Instant translation between Persian and English. Here is the address
The mullahs win by shutting people up either with censorship or bullets. Keep the free flow of information going and they will be exposed as the thugs that they are.

"Money should be appropriated for an NGO-run "open window" platform that enables a wide variety of indigenous voices to be carried on radio, blogs, video clips and other media. This can take the form of satellite and terrestrial broadcasting and other information tools to provide Iranians with anonymous communications and access to Internet, television and radio content that their government attempts to deny them. The president should also call a White House meeting of the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, Google and other video-sharing and social-networking companies. Entrepreneurially minded high-tech companies can manage this project better than the government. Many of these CEOs are strong supporters of Mr. Obama; they should be brought on board to help make his foreign policy succeed. In the meantime, the president should order the military to make some of its EC-130 "Commando Solo" aircraft, which serve as flying television and radio stations, available to enable reformers and protest leaders to speak directly to the Iranian people."

No more Cubas...and no more Jimmy Carters.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Who says ECU Alumni don't get around?

ECU Econ Alumnus Joey Cuellar and his lovely wife Mary Ann at the Washington Nationals game. Who dat over Joey's right shoulder?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Double talk.

On June 15 the president spoke to the American Medical Association and rejected the #1 plank in their platform...limiting malpractice awards. OK, no surprise there, be looking for more jackpot justice. But then the next sentence out of the Prez's mouth was that the problem with our system is conducting too many diagnostic and preventive tests. Hello? Don't you see a connection here? In health care reform, we don't need no stink'in Bozos. But with statements like that it is not looking good.

Monday, June 15, 2009

From the great Herb Meyer.

March 29, 2004

"There's only one thing really worth working create work. I don't know if you've ever thought about machines," he said. "Every machine that's put into a factory displaces labor. That's a very old story, of course. The man who's put to work the machine isn't any better off than he was before; the three men that are thrown out of a job are very much worse off. But the cure isn't socialism — or, if it is, I'm too much of a capitalist myself to see it. The cure is for somebody to buckle to and make a job for the three men.
"I believe that that's the thing most worth doing in this modern world," he said quietly. "To create jobs that men can work at, and be proud of, and make money by their work. There's no dignity, no decency or health today for men that haven't got a job. All other things depend on work today; without work men are utterly undone." — from Kindling, by Nevil Shute, 1938
More than 60 years after Nevil Shute wrote his savvy novel about a British investment banker who struggles to restart a dormant shipyard in the midst of England's depression — the book should be required reading for MBA students — the need for work sits at the top of our national agenda. Indeed, as the 2004 election cycle revs up, the only thing that President Bush and Senator Kerry agree about is that today we are not creating enough new jobs.
The question is, "Why not?" One obvious reason is that we are only now emerging from a recession. This should improve the jobs situation over time as economic growth takes hold. Another is outsourcing — the transfer of both manufacturing and service jobs that would have been done by Americans to workers overseas who are well educated, well trained, and willing to work for a lot less money. This won't improve over time; we are so addicted to low prices that we bemoan the loss of jobs to foreigners even while driving to Wal-Mart for a $60 DVD player made in some country whose capital has only just gotten indoor plumbing.
A less obvious reason we aren't creating new jobs fast enough is that — like agricultural productivity a century ago — manufacturing productivity today has risen so high, so fast, that we are able to make whatever we need with fewer people. Since 1995, more than 22 million factory jobs have disappeared worldwide, while global industrial output has risen by more than 30 percent. This really is a worldwide phenomenon; the total number of manufacturing jobs has dropped not only here in the U.S., but in low-wage countries including Brazil and even China.
There is one more reason we aren't creating jobs fast enough, but saying it out loud would be so unpopular, and so politically toxic, that none of our leaders — including those few who actually understand it — seem willing to take the risk. So, here goes: We aren't creating jobs fast enough because we have crippled the people who do the creating, and turned them from the heroes and heroines they are into villains. Read the last sentence again, then say it aloud to whoever happens to be nearby. This is the core of the problem — no, it is the problem — and until we fix it we aren't going to start creating new jobs fast enough. And yes, it really is this simple.
People who create jobs are entrepreneurs, which Webster's defines as "a person who organizes and manages a business undertaking, assuming the risk for the sake of the profit." Sometimes these are people who invent new products or services, then launch companies that become billion-dollar enterprises that in turn spawn new industries. Think of Apple computers, or Starbucks. And sometimes these entrepreneurs launch smaller enterprises, such as neighborhood shops or a local business that specializes in making windows for new homes or in remodeling kitchens. Anyone who launches a new venture is by definition an entrepreneur, and these are the people whose efforts create work for everyone else. They are the only people who create work, which is why entrepreneurs are vital to the economic health of any free society.
The jobs that entrepreneurs create — keep in mind that 80 percent of all new jobs are created by small businesses — provide incomes to the people they hire, who in turn spend their money on the products and services they need and want. This is what allows the big manufacturers, such as the automakers, to rev up their own production lines and by doing so to expand their own workforces. And all this activity, over time, generates enough economic activity to enable still more entrepreneurs to launch or expand their own ventures and thus to keep the economy — think of it as one huge "jobs machine" — humming.
Common sense suggests that a country whose people want jobs would do everything possible to help entrepreneurs to succeed — to encourage them, or at the very least to get out of their way. Alas, nothing is so rare today as common sense. And in the last decade or so we Americans have been making it less attractive for entrepreneurs to do what they do — and less likely they will succeed when they do give it a shot. Through a combination of high taxes and onerous regulation, we have discouraged entrepreneurs from doing the one thing they must do for everyone else's sake — namely, create new jobs.
More precisely, unlike their predecessors, today's entrepreneurs struggle to expand without creating jobs, because the cost of doing so — both financial and emotional — just isn't worth it. This is the big shift in attitude that no one wants to talk about. Even in my own tiny, home-based publishing business, we are killing ourselves to grow — and terrified that if we grow to the point when we need to hire someone, we will be crippled by local, state, and federal taxes on our employee's salary, and made miserable by regulations that might force us to rip out the flower bed for a wheelchair-access ramp or even be sued by someone who never applied for the job we created but somehow feels that he or she is the victim of discrimination.
And if we push forward anyway and actually do create a job — and assuming the company isn't hit with a multimillion-dollar fine because one morning I lost control of myself and said something vicious like, "You look nice today, Lucille" — rather than be celebrated for our achievements we will be berated or reviled for getting rich on obscene profits.
This is nuts. We have reshaped our society to protect endangered species whose continued survival is of no discernible benefit, such as the black-footed ferret or the spotted owl, while blithely writing laws and regulations that threaten the survival of the one species — the entrepreneur — on whom our lives and welfare utterly depend. And we wonder why we aren't creating enough new jobs! It's like slaughtering herds of dairy cows, then wondering why we haven't got enough milk. Really, it is.
With the need for jobs so pressing, this is the time to launch a full-bore effort to teach Americans just how their jobs get created in the first place; to teach them what entrepreneurs are, what they do, how they do it, what risks they take — and what tax and regulatory changes we must make to help more of them succeed. Above all, we need to teach all this to our children. Which means we need to crash head-on into the Leftist, anti-business culture of our country's education establishment and force it to stop teaching our children that the Furbish lousewort must be protected at all costs, but that entrepreneurs are ruining the planet and should be made extinct.
Until we get Americans to understand that their welfare depends utterly on those few among us who create work — that "soaking the rich" also means "no work for you" — we will never create enough new jobs no matter how rapidly our economy may grow. Entrepreneurs will survive, for we are a hardy species. It's the workers who will suffer, and for their own sakes they need to understand how the world works. This means we want more than merely their tolerance. We want their understanding and even, perhaps, their gratitude.
At the very end of Kindling, the investment banker returns to the now-bustling shipyard that his efforts brought back to life — after serving three years in prison for violating a securities regulation while raising the needed capital.
Upon the blackened, ten-foot wall not many yards from the gate there was a sign that he did not remember. Hesitating for a moment to go in, he went across to look at it. It was a bronze plaque, about three feet square, apparently a memorial of some sort, dignified and restrained. As he approached he saw it bore, embossed in low relief, the sculptured head and shoulders of a man, in profile. He read the words below:
Henry Warren
He Gave Us Work
Maybe Kindling should be required reading not just for MBA students, but for politicians, union leaders, high-school seniors — and especially for ambitious prosecutors who know how easy it is to trip up an entrepreneur on some technical violation, then trick the public into thinking they have "stood up for the little guy" when all they've really done is thrown a monkey wrench into the jobs machine those little guys so desperately need to keep running.
— Herbert E. Meyer served during the Reagan administration as special assistant to the director of Central Intelligence and vice chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council. His new video is The Siege of Western Civilization.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The boys.

Here I am in New Orleans duck hunting with my nephew Ricky, my brother Rick and our friend Justin Galatoire Frey. I don't know that I have ever been happier.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

Victor Davis Hanson tells it like it is.

On the Arab "street" if any theory you espouse of the world does not include a "conspiracy theory" people will dismiss you out of hand. The great Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis said in his book What Went Wrong in assessing the current state of the Arab world relative to their glorious past centuries ago, the Arab "street" asks in anger, "who did this to us?" Their answer is Western Civilization did. That is why it must be destroyed. And if you don't think this is a war of civilizations that we are currently fighting and will for generations to come, then you need to take more history classes.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Duck Hunting with Mikka

With my good friend Brent Andrews.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A trillion here...a trillion there.

James Hamilton has recently reported that we would have to double the taxes we pay for one year in order to pay back $1 trillion of the national debt. If this is so then it is the same thing as saying we would have to double our taxes for one year in order to reduce the current federal budget deficit by $1 trillion. That would still leave a projected $750 billion deficit. Work hard and pay up big boy. We got dog parks and bridges to nowhere to build.

Fun with graphs...

Have some fun with this web site. Just get your Kleenex...this recession is not pretty in historical perspective.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

From a December 2004 Federal Reserve of New York Research Publication...

"Our main conclusion is that the most widely cited evidence
of a bubble is not persuasive because it fails to account for
developments in the housing market over the past decade.
In particular, significant declines in nominal mortgage interest
rates and demographic forces have supported housing
demand, home construction, and home values during this
period. Taking these factors into account, we argue that market
fundamentals are sufficiently strong to explain the recent
path of home prices and support our view that a bubble does
not exist.
As for the likelihood of a severe drop in home prices, our
examination of historical national home prices finds no basis
for concern. Even during periods of recession and high
nominal interest rates, aggregate real home prices declined only
moderately. However, weakening fundamentals could have a
larger impact on areas along the east and west coasts—where
the supply of new housing is believed to be inelastic, home
prices historically have been volatile, and home price
appreciation has been strongest. In the event of such a
weakening, home prices in these areas may fall, as they have in
the past. Nevertheless, these past episodes of home price
declines—although significant regionally—did not have
devastating effects on the national economy."

Here is the complete document. Believe it or not, there are still whack jobs at the Fed who still believe there was no bubble in housing.