Sunday, March 29, 2009

North Korea Missile Launch

Regarding North Korea's plans to fire another missile (regardless of stated intentions or analysis on both sides as to the meaning of such a launch---provocative or otherwise) over the next week or so:

In discussions today on MSM relating to US plans to shoot down this particular missile, Gates offers the following money quote---

"I think if we had an aberrant missile, one that was headed for Hawaii, that looked like it was headed for Hawaii or something like that, we might consider it," Gates said. "But I don't think we have any plans to do anything like that at this point."

"Might consider it"?

No, Mr Gates---wrong response in my book. Your comment should have been re-worded as "we will shoot it down if it headed to Hawai'i". I do believe my friends on Oahu would appreciate the confidence in such language.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Walmart/Cafe Hayek

From the Cafe Hayek blog---I make no additional comments to what was written. I may not agree totally with Libertarian or Austrian Economics leanings but he is "spot on' in the most direct definition.

Obscene bonuses
Russell Roberts

Can you believe this? (HT: Jeff Bliss):

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, plans to award $2 billion this year to U.S. hourly workers in bonuses, profit sharing, discounts and 401(k) and stock-plan contributions after sales jumped in the recession.
Payments to employees include $933.6 million in bonuses today, spokeswoman Daphne Davis Moore said by phone. Workers will also get $788.8 million in profit sharing and 401(k) contributions this year, Chief Executive Officer Mike Duke told workers in a memo.
Wal-Mart recorded its biggest sales ever in the fourth quarter, boosting revenue in the year through January by 7.2 percent to $401.2 billion. U.S. comparable-store sales jumped 3.3 percent last year as the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer sold more groceries, $4 medicines and flat-panel televisions to consumers pinched by the recession.

Don't they know there's a recession going on? How dare they award their employees for doing a good job? They should all give a bunch of the money back to the government. What? The bonuses aren't being funded by taxpayers? How yes, I remember. This is how capitalism once worked. Successful companies rewarded their employees and lousy companies disappeared.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


The above link sickens me.

Given the present day economic/realpolitik realities our country faces, I suppose any reader would be wondering why the absence of what should be daily comments about our present travails. The reality is that I'm spending a significant amount of time attempting to digest the vagueries of present DC decision making and how same fits within my scope of analysis.

I'm angry. And that's not good.

I'm angry that there seems to be no control of financial or moral responsibility. Apparently we are looking at increasing IMF aid to 100 billion dollars---and the other day, Hillary Clinton promised an extra 1 million dollars to allow deserving Palestinian youth to pursue university training either in the EU or the US (excuse me???---note to Hillary from my desk---can we consider the needs of US students for the time being??), Actually, forget Hillary---her actions are merely the wishes of the present administration in toto. I used to believe that Condi Rice was merely a "lap dog" for the Bush administration. Sorry, Hillary, but you seem to be more of the same...and so far, not much of the "change" that I assumed you would shoulder. I understand the generic importance of the IMF..but increasing the total awards to 100 billion dollars at this stage of the game?? To borrow the acronym but WTF? I sound like a Republican perhaps..maybe a few Democrats. Just as I am attempting to evaluate the genuine grist of the gargantuan money traps that are being signed "into law", I end up reading the above link. At some point, I will discuss my perspectives of the military---the pluses and the minuses. Again, it won't be pretty but I will not hold back just to kow-tow to a particular interest group or two.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Check out the above link for a discussion as to the benefits between a proposed carbon tax vs the cap-and-trade avenue of approach.

Afterwards, one may wish to either pound one's head into a wall or merely stop reading after the first couple of interviews after "admitting" that the higher powers in DC will end up making the correct decisions in the long run. Now, of course, the crucial assumption will be made that any decision will be based solely on the collective good of the republic as opposed to any one industry. Yep..that was sarcasm.

My point is that even I don't understand the intricacies of either of these topics although I've tried hard to muddle through the various definitions of both and how, based upon one expert or another, BOTH entities would be much better for the economy than the other. Confusing. Go ahead...word search both topics and see what I mean.

Theoretically, there should be a finite truth here devoid of industry bias. But how does one find the reality here? Quite honestly, I'm stuck on this one. I have no idea who's telling the truth or has the best judgement. Proponents of both avenues clearly have delineated their own agendas so which one should take precedent?

What a mess. It's a subject of importance and there seems to be a clear lack of coherent agreement all around. It's times like this that I question my desire to jump into the quagmire of DC politics.

On the other hand......