Archive for February, 2010

Clueless TV “talent” of the day – CNN’s Rick Sanchez

Posted in Culture on February 28, 2010 by DaMook

I have worked at a TV station and have been in a whole bunch of them across the country. I hate to use a broad brush on most things but my experience has been that most of the news folks in the TV business are, well, not there for for their in-depth knowledge. (I’m really trying to be kind, but most of them are clueless.) The on camera news people are generally there for their looks and presentation skills – not for their intelligence. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all of them as I have met some very sharp news people, especially in larger markets.

Rick Sanchez is a typical example of clueless. CNN was of course all over the earthquake in Chile story. In typical fashion, they trot out all kinds of “experts” to help us understand what’s going on. The expert said that Hawaii would experience a 9 meter drop in sea level just prior to an anticipated tsunami.  Sanchez needed help in understanding this:

SANCHEZ: “Nine meters. By the way, nine meters in English is?”

Nine meters in English? Is there a 5th grader out there who doesn’t know what 9 meters is? Good thing you’re not on that show, Rick.


UPDATE: more here


algore pops up briefly from his hole

Posted in Climategate on February 28, 2010 by DaMook

…doesn’t see his shadow so global warming still exists. (story here)
After months of being absent from the Climategate story, algore finally made an appearance and promptly got the Whack-A-Mole treatment at an Apple shareholder’s meeting:

“At the first opportunity for audience participation just several minutes into the proceeding, a longtime and well-known Apple shareholder–some would say gadfly–who introduced himself as Shelton Ehrlich, stood at the microphone and urged against Gore’s re-election to the board. Gore ‘has become a laughingstock. The glaciers have not melted,’ Ehrlich said, referring to Gore’s views on global warming. ‘If his advice he gives to Apple is as faulty as his views on the environment then he doesn’t need to be re-elected.’

WTF? Without answering any questions from the press, the infamous ManBearPig authored this op-ed piece for the global warming friendly NY Times and promptly went back into his hole.

More labor problems for Europe

Posted in BIG Government, Culture on February 28, 2010 by DaMook

In case you might be wondering why I keep bringing this up, I’ll tell you. Europe is at the precipice of collapse because of its devotion to socialist policy. Greece is only the tip of the iceberg. Germany, probably the strongest financially of the EU partners, will ultimately have to shoulder an increasing burden for the weakest states – Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain. This does not sit well with most Germans, especially the ones who are finally waking up to their own unsustainable economic situation. The bottom line is that Europe has mortgaged their welfare states on the backs of declining populations. Pretty soon there won’t be a large enough productive class to pay off the mortgage.

What bothers me the most is that this could happen in America. In fact, it is happening – we’re just 10 or 20 years behind Europe and, at least right now, still have a sustaining population growth.

Back to Europe:

Europe has been hit by a wave of industrial and social unrest in recent days and weeks, as workers across the continent push back against efforts to cut government spending and drive down wages. The uncoordinated strikes and protests, which have taken place in at least a dozen European countries and have threatened to paralyze much of the continent, may be a harbinger of more unrest to come.

With much of Europe in or just barely out of recession and many millions of Europeans out of work and collecting welfare checks, governments large and small are scrambling to fix gaping budget holes in an effort to stave off financial disaster. In Spain, for example, the government spent twice as much as it took in during 2009, with unemployment benefits constituting the largest single component of government expenditures.

Many other European countries are in a similar bind. Indeed, with millions of long-term unemployed Europeans on track to becoming permanent wards of the state, the European social model is under strain as never before.

The European social model has fostered an entitlement mentality in its workforce. The article lists a summary of some of the recent labor unrest in various EU countries. It is apparent that European workers are going to resist any efforts by their respective governments to address economic issues.

Although many of the strikes and protests have been relatively short-lived, they represent growing popular resistance to attempts by European governments and corporations to cut back on spending. It remains to be seen whether European governments, which derive much of their political legitimacy from doling out social welfare benefits, will buckle under popular pressure and abandon reform.

However, if European governments stand firm and push through the painful austerity measures that many countries need to return to economic health, more labor strife will almost certainly follow. According to one analyst, the recent wave of protests could be “just the start of the greatest demonstration of public unrest seen on the continent since the revolutionary fervour of 1968.”

In any case, even if European publics are in denial about the future viability of the European social welfare state, a growing number of European governments seem to be acknowledging, albeit reluctantly, that their social and economic model is unsustainable. Strange, then, that many Americans view the European model as something to emulate rather than avoid.

As the situation in Europe demonstrates, this is a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Our geniuses in government would be wise to wake up to this before it’s too late.

Steyn on the situation in Greece

Posted in BIG Government, Culture on February 28, 2010 by DaMook

Mark Steyn has a great piece on the situation in Greece and how the rest of Europe and America are likely to follow.

What’s happening in the developed world today isn’t so very hard to understand: The 20th-century Bismarckian welfare state has run out of people to stick it to. In America, the feckless, insatiable boobs in Washington, Sacramento, Albany, and elsewhere are screwing over our kids and grandkids. In Europe, they’ve reached the next stage in social-democratic evolution: There are no kids or grandkids to screw over. The United States has a fertility rate of around 2.1 — or just over two kids per couple. Greece has a fertility rate of about 1.3: Ten grandparents have six kids have four grandkids — ie, the family tree is upside down. Demographers call 1.3 “lowest-low” fertility — the point from which no society has ever recovered. And, compared to Spain and Italy, Greece has the least worst fertility rate in Mediterranean Europe.

So you can’t borrow against the future because, in the most basic sense, you don’t have one. Greeks in the public sector retire at 58, which sounds great. But, when ten grandparents have four grandchildren, who pays for you to spend the last third of your adult life loafing around?

Read the whole wonderfully sarcastic thing…

Assinine government idea of the day

Posted in Government Folly on February 27, 2010 by DaMook

[From my friend and former bandmate, Ron Lane]

Sometimes you really have to wonder at government assholery. There are actually idiots who sit around all day dreaming up things like this:

Miami Considers Ban on Feeding the Homeless Without Training

Are you freaking kidding me?

Miami residents may have to think twice before giving up their leftovers to the homeless.

The Miami City Commission is set to consider a proposal next month that would prohibit unauthorized people and groups from feeding the homeless downtown, an ordinance proponents say will cut down on litter and ensure the safety of the food the homeless do eat.

Huh? What? So you’ll need to be trained to feed the homeless? Ron’s comment pretty much sums it up:

This left me speechless.! Don’t they have laws against littering? The homeless are now a sub-species who are no longer accountable for their actions? So “the public” can no longer “feed” the homeless unless they’re “trained?” Will there be a charge to attend training classes and will people willingly pay to be trained? Good grief, we need to pump more money into our space program to find intelligent life on other planets, because it’s apparent that it’s in short supply here!!!

Well said, Ron.

The assholery of government knows absolutely no bounds…

Small business: Government is the problem

Posted in BIG Government on February 27, 2010 by DaMook

Why is the government tone deaf when it comes to business and the economy? Perhaps it’s because the vast majority of our ruling elite class has never done a productive thing in their entire lives. They don’t have a clue as to what it takes to run a lemonade stand, much less a real business. Perhaps that our dear comrade leader excluded business leaders and invited union leaders to his “jobs summit” is also an indication of his unwillingness to listen to the creators of jobs. I think it’s all of the above – and more. (story here)

Congress is focusing on a health care bill that features crippling taxes and mandates for small firms, fully expecting to have it in place and implemented (10 years of taxes, seven years of “reform”) this year with unemployment at 10 percent and expected by many to rise. Lawmakers also allowed the minimum wage to rise by nearly 11 percent in July 2009, catapulting teen job loss to over 500,000 and an unemployment rate of 27 percent in the second half even though the economy started growing. This was double the loss in the first half when GDP growth was plummeting. If the administration wants to count “jobs created and saved” it should also be accountable for “jobs destroyed or prevented.

On top of all that bad news, small business owners fear Washington will then feel the need to “stimulate” us with even more spending and larger government (and taxes), the death knell for private sector vitality…The loss of a lock on 60 Senate votes for the Democrats may be encouraging to some owners, but the President and Congressional leaders still sound like they plan to press on with their agenda, not good news for small business owners.

Let’s apply some logic by looking at a typical example. Say you own a small company that makes doohickies. You used to employ 100 people but declining sales forced you to lay off 20% of your workforce. People just aren’t buying your doohickies or they’re waiting longer to replace them so your sales (income, profits) are down. Now you make enough to meet demand with less people – you’re just getting by. Along comes the government offering a $5,000 incentive to hire people – such a deal! But it costs you say, $40,000 for just one new hire, and you don’t really need new employees because you don’t sell enough doohickies to support more employees. So, do you hire more employees because of the government incentive? Only if you’re an idiot.

Now let’s look down the road a little. The government is trying to pass obamacare which will drive up insurance costs and impose costly regulations on your business. They’re also talking about Cap & Tax, with more regulations and higher costs. The economy doesn’t look much better (even though the government says it is) so you’re unsure if sales will pick up. What do you do? Do you hire more employees to meet an anticipated demand? Again, only if you’re an idiot.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure this stuff out so why can’t the “geniuses” in government wrap their heads around it?

Alas, Washington doesn’t appear to be listening to what small businesses and the American people are saying they want: less taxes, spending, and regulations. Instead, in a vain effort to end a recession that government policies helped foster, policymakers continue to throw trillions of taxpayer dollars off the wall in the hopes that something sticks.


Government “weatherization” is a FAIL – naturally

Posted in BIG Government, Government Folly on February 27, 2010 by DaMook

You would be hard pressed to put the words “government” and “success” in a single sentence. Add the word “stimulus” and it becomes impossible. So it’s no surprise that the government “green jobs” weatherization program has been a complete and utter FAIL. (more here)

The Department of Energy’s latest report on the Weatherization Assistance Program—a $5 billion piece of the now year-old Recovery Act—is disheartening. A mere $368.2 million dollars of the $5 billion have been spent and about 5 percent of units allocated funding across the nation have been completed. Of the top 10 most funded states, only two have completed more than 2 percent of the planned units, and there has been more time spent taking wage surveys, in accordance with the Davis-Bacon Act, than there has been caulking, stripping and insulating homes.

So they wasted more time figuring out how much to pay workers than actually doing work. Lovely. More ridiculous bullshit from our wonderful government…