Sunday, April 30, 2006
You, me, and every other consumer can do very little to impact cost and supply and unless you plan on becoming an energy baron, this is a good thing. Free markets contain the answers to problems, not grandstanding politicians.
Why is $3.00 gas so painful? Well it’s not to everyone. In fact it will most likely end up being most painful to OPEC. Back when crude was breaking $45-50/barrel, analysts used to tout that expensive oil was not a good thing because when it gets to be too painful, consumers will either go without or find alternatives. Despite what it seems, energy will reach the breaking point in terms of price elasticity. Somewhere at BP and every other seller is a bunch of cubicle jockeys writing super secret PowerPoint presentations asserting exactly where on the price curve this will be. Since Wall Street is a first cousin to energy profiteering, there are some other jockeys in very expensive pants and pressed shirts crunching their own numbers.
I am due for a new car. My 1994 Ford Ranger has done me well. I WANT a new 1 ton dually with 4 wheel drive. The fact that I’ve gotten 3 different rigs stuck in my own yard in the past 18 months shows that I really do NEED this kind of a guzzler. However the cost of inaction (which is the 45 minutes with a come-along plus 90 bucks in a tow truck bill) shows that this purchase is not a NECESSITY. The Ranger and my wife’s Kia Rio meet our transportation NECESSITY just fine. The universe will not come to a screeching halt if I drive the Ranger to its death which will probably more than 12 months from now. Of course this does push us into macro economic territory on why OPEC and Detroit do not want oil to be above $60. Because of fuel concerns I am not only delaying the purchase of a durable good, I may buy the lower margin good when I finally do decide to make that purchase a year from now so that I can afford to consume $3.50 gas at a much slower rate.
The House Dad Grew Up In.
In the 30’s to 50’s when my dad was growing up, they lived in a house that is about the size of my 2 car garage. I’m talking about a family of 5. The house was eventually converted into a garage sometime later when the kids moved out and a new house was built (a whopping 1000 sq ft). This is a significant piece of information because I assert that few families these days are as functional as that one.
What the heck does this have to do with energy? Do the math on heating 1000 sq ft vs three to four times that much. Sure your house has appreciated value on paper in the past year, but you really need to consider to total cost of ownership and 2006-07 energy prices (not just oil) are going to be a huge factor. Again this gets back to supply and demand. When you choose to live in a monstrosity, you have very little control over your demand for energy.
I was conservative in buying my current home (I wanted to own the home not vice versa) and purchased a rambler well within my earning capacity. The beautiful thing is that my “demand” for energy in the winter months is moderated not only by 3-4 heating alternatives, but also by a less than piggish home size. Even better is that fact that it’s easy to heat 1 room. Unfortunately the number of McMansions going in is going to leave a lot of people with little control on their “demand.” At least we have our one trick pony Maria Cantwell to dance on Enron’s grave and possibly to screw big oil out of some profits (fat chance on that one). Too bad she nor any of our other elected officials have any real solutions.
Speaking of Solutions
Solution space is what brings this entry back full circle to pricing 101. If this price trend continues for another 3-5 years, OPEC will be the sorrier for allowing it to happen. Commuting options will adapt to $95 oil on current salaries at the same time homes will adapt heating to align with current salaries also. Don’t get me wrong, this will be hella painful with some serious macro economic ramifications. It will however put the US into a transitional economic state where terrorists will no longer be able to put us over the [oil] barrel.
Most likely this will entail "asking nicely," but don't be fooled, if we NEED your oil, we will take it.
Friday, April 28, 2006
excerpt from KC-
We are opposed to the courts limiting a child or children to one parent when both are equally capable and desire to take an active part in their children’s upbringing; except when there is proven criminal wrongdoing, abuse or neglect. Our laws must strengthen and sustain family rights and the traditional family structure.
It's really pathetic that this is the best our best can do.
It's a use tax. Since we can't bill Fox for unloading his poor on us; tax his parasite economy for the service.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
With gas prices rising so steeply, capitalism kicks into gear.
Here is the link to a map listing various gas stations in Olympia, their current price per gallon, and numbered in order from the cheapest to the most expensive.
Click here for the map.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Any business worth investing in will find ways to reduce costs and to reduce the risk of factors beyond management’s immediate control. Smart households do the same (well...depending on your views on personal responsibility). Control over subcontractors and suppliers are key areas for reducing risk. No company tolerates a subcontractor or supplier who jacks the price of a bid in the 11th hour because of an unforeseen cost and especially not for profiteering. Likewise a successful company will have contingency plans for when a key ingredient of a product arrives late or goes up in cost due to changes in demand or supply.
Example: Starbucks will buy coffee futures to mitigate the cost of fluctuations of coffee trading in a global market place. The same is true for oil. Except every business (and household) in America is caught with their pants down on this one. Even worse, our suppliers are America’s worst enemies.
Never mind the “why” we don’t have a contingency plan- we don’t and six years of blaming anyone for it gets you nowhere. The real issue here is that the lack of contingency plans and critical thinking on the part of individuals has created the perfect storm when it comes to energy and our pocket books.
Recovery in this case is not a 12-step program, but a matter of addressing 2 realities. Energy (more specifically oil) is required to:
1- Make machines go; like getting you and goods from point A to point B
2- Make things hot/cold. Like your home, coffee and chick filet.
Noodle on this. I’m going to be blogging heavily about this in the next few weeks from a strategic cheap skate family household and small business perspective.
Only 2 percent of America’s workers make the minimum wage. Five percent of the workforce is unemployed.
Most minimum wage workers are part-timers and under 25 years old and half are bound for a raise within a year.
Raising the minimum wage will not pull millions of families out of poverty when only a miniscule number of breadwinners are making the minimum wage. Most have taken the situation into their own hands and found a way to bring home more to support their families.
To the contrary, raising the minimum wage here in Washington will only make job opportunities scarcer by increasing the cost of employees. An employer's payroll will cover fewer employees.
Further, raising the minimum wage increases an employer's expenses, but does guarantee an equivalent increase in income for the employer. Despite the new drain in operating expenses, the employer must remain competitive and so may not be able to pass the increased costs on to customers without risking loosing those customers.
As a final observation, when costs are passed to customers, their buying power is decreased. Unfortunately, this is true of employees who receive mandated wage increases. When the store they work at increases prices by five cents to fund the wage increase, employees’ purchasing power has not increased. Rather, they are still stuck buying the same amount, or less (because of taxes), than they did prior to the raise. In short, it is a vicious cycle as employees’ new raises go to fund their raises.
When the minimum wage is raised, the only person/entity to benefit is the government, which gets more in income and sales taxes.
I thought Democrats told us the death tax is the answer to all our social disparity ills?
How about a "near death tax" and just tax the really old people more. They've hoarded that money for all those years- they can't take it with them and Gregoire can't wait for them to die. Apparently she can't let them drive her in a parade either.
At least the children of those family business's won't be getting away without paying their fair share when dear old dad dies.
I hope this doesn't hurt the state's ability to carry out those ad buys for selling more tobacco to kids.
Monday, April 24, 2006
Question: How many sports leagues could be started with $29 million?
Answer: A hell of a lot.
Question: How many kids will stop smoking with ad buys?
Answer: Gregoire has no freaking clue. Likely none based on my experience with broad reach marketing (I do this type of thing for a day job).
Question: How many kids will sports programs divert from smoking?
Answer: Every one of them. They will also get off their butts and burn off some of that baby fat which is going to be the #1 killer of gen "tween".
In years when high school and junior high sports programs are stretched to the hilt, the state spends tobacco money on ad programs which make it seem "cooler and more taboo" to smoke. More than likely this is free ad time to SELL kids on smoking--- ie they know it's bad for them when they puke the first time they smoke. They do it because they're not supposed to.
Gregoire when you get done making my tobacco stock go up (and I own a lot thanks to your political idiocy making it a risk free investment), could you scrounge around the seat cushions in Dino's mansion for some coins to toss at some recreation programs?
$29 million could buy a lot of soccer fields.
$29 million could buy a lot of baseball diamonds.
....and even more if you did so without paying back your union buddies to build them.
Christine opposes the property rights initiative. As though anyone needed ANOTHER reason to vote for it, comrade Gregoire's opposition is a good indicator that it is exactly the right thing for the individual property owner.
NEWS FLASH: A creation of litigation is not an excuse for actively enabling the taking of property rights. The fact that Gregoire wants to devalue my biggest asset to appease environmental extremists is yet another reason why her approval rating rivals the President's. The president has Al Queada to thank for his troubles...
Near topic I was flying to San Jose a week ago and was sitting next to a King County resident and the conversation came to Oregon's property rights initiative. I said that by and large most land owners aren't lining up to turn the family homestead into a trailer park subdivision--common sense normally prevails.
The marxist in the middle seat from King County noted "All common sense goes out the door when money is involved. Weyerhauser paid for most of the initiative campaining. That should tell you something."
Not doubting that Weyerhauser gains from this I noted, "You can still keep the land rural, you just have to buy the rights from the people who already paid for it." The conversation ended there.
I guess he was right:
"All common sense goes out the door when money is involved."
Friday, April 21, 2006
From the Georgia Public Policy Foundation
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Paula Casey- Long track record as an activist feminazi. Most recently known for letting a bank robber off for armed robbery because it technically wasn’t a bank that was robbed. Long time advocate of child rape.
Though the more important exploits of Casey rarely make the news, she is well known among divorce ring as a sure way to screw over the husband for property and child custody. She is often credited with stacking the court with the jackal to her right.
Chris Wickham, First in line to oppose children of divorce having access to 2 parents at every legislative session. Ruled talk radio opinion counts as a political contribution, but MSM perverts/columnists are not. From the personal experience of those I’ve talked to, Wickham is well known for not even providing attorneys with the opportunity to present an argument or just ignoring massive amounts of blatant evidence while basing his decision on political aspirations. You get the elected judicial pleasure of spending $10k on an appeal.
There is no way the accused Lacrosse players would get a fair trial here in Thurston. Both of these characters love rolling in the dead carcass of justice amidst the victim hood, chaos and bias of feminist gaggles. If there is public grant money to be gleaned, look for these vultures to be near by.
So with bias like this in the system, a stripper getting a bad tip can cry rape and destroy anyone regardless of the evidence. Meanwhile these perverts from the bench will be out pounding the podium on being tough on violence against women.
update: Paula Casey does it again this month in a stabbing case.
(…by de ja vu, I don’t mean the drunk hooker/stripper/mother of 2 accuser from Durham.)
CAO will be coming ‘round again according to the zero. It’s just in time for the money minting machine to get greased up by county commissioners and permit department- which is now self funded thanks to a 10x price increase (wink wink).
Check out the timely price increase of having your "critical areas"evaluated. Price increase of 10X begins May 1. I notice the County has decommissioned the link of proposed price increases to avoid awareness on the subject. After all, only 2 of us bothered to show up at the hearing. No sense creating a fuss now when you can sneak it in after the price increase eh?
...and who says Bush has a monopoly on printing money? He's got nothing on Thurston County. Neither do the energy companies for that matter.
Folks, it’s called a land grab. Fight it or lose your rights.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Prosecution and accuser advocates have been eager to try and convict the team in the media. The accuser’s cheerleaders have been running the talk show circuit 5 to 1 over the defense. From a layman’s perspective, the accuser in this case is as likely to be inventing this accusation as the least savory team member is as likely to have committed the crime.
The prosecutor is moving for a public lynching here due to pressure by blacks who (with some justification I might add) say that if the accuser had been blond, hot and just as nutty (ie Kate Fabor) as this accuser someone would have been arrested weeks ago. Blacks in this case are correct in whining because the only missing persons reports that get attention fit the hot, blonde and sensational template. However law enforcement and civil rights based on riot is never a good idea and this is not really about the accuser being black, it’s about unraveling the razor barbed wire of a he/she said of what happened behind closed doors.
The prosecutor in this case however is doubling down on 12 while the defense has a face card showing (an incredibly stupid bet if you play black jack) by airing it in the media while at the same time succumbing to riot pressure for a fast hanging of the accused. It’s his job to be skeptical of the accuser because no matter how rough his questioning is of her credibility, the defense is going to be 100X as critical.
In the public jury, Kate Fabor falsely accused Kobe Bryant of rape for personal gain. Every rape victim now has to overcome the stigma associated with that case. The Duke accusation will illicit every bit as much scrutiny and bear a greater body blow to prosecuting rape cases in the future. Having Jesse Jackson offer the woman cash for her troubles (even if the entire event is fake) doesn’t help matters either.
On one hand I’m pleased because the word of the accuser should never be taken as gold based on race and gender (neither should the defense by the same merits). On the other hand, if my daughter is ever raped, she will first be suspected as a false accuser for personal gain based on an unreasonable standard thanks to the bungling of this prosecutor.
Friday, April 14, 2006
Leading off- this case is important for two reasons.
1- In this country, men are assumed guilty of violence against women until proven innocent. Congress supplies truck loads of money to women’s organizations to perpetuate this type of discrimination.
2- False accusations against men have no repercussions except to smear the reports of legitimate victims. Statistics show that over 50% of allegations are completely bogus. Fraudulent cases need to face prosecution.
This story deserves the media spotlight it is getting. It’s unfortunate to actual rape victims, but the backlash is that every legitimate rape victim is going to be more and more suspect of crying wolf.
Why this is looking more bogus every minute:
The entire team (minus the black dude) are suspects- in other words between the two strippers, neither has any clue what the assailants look like other than being white and male. Short, tall, fat, skinny, blonde, dark hair…nothing. Y’all look alike to me.
Next in any group of males that size there are no doubt 5 individuals (at least) who are likely to be bad characters. These are not unlike the usual idiots at any college party who start picking fights around midnight. I reference the moron with the Silence of the Lambs style email as exhibit A. Similarly there would also be 5 Duddly-Do-rights who would under no circumstances allow such a crime to continue or allow the entire team to be dragged through the mud to protect such idiots and undeniable criminal behavior. Could the entire team, including the Do-rights be that cohesive and show that level of loyalty? In other words, Semper Fi for a criminal at the snob school?
Likely? Like me winning the lottery.
Aside from showing up to the party wasted, the two strippers “feared for their safety” after being called racial slurs. Out of “fear” they decided to leave but were “coaxed” back into the house. Then, after previously being afraid for their safety, the strippers assert they separated (not forcefully separated) for more than a half an hour at the party. Even without the racial slurs, this behavior doesn’t add up.
The DNA clearance was a real crusher here as well. An act of passion now goes into CSI mode to prove the drunken micro gang rape in the closet all wore condoms and then did a clean up to remove any bio evidence at all.
According to defense attorneys, photos taken by the players are emerging indicating the stripper was not only drunk, but was also “damaged goods” when she got to the party. If true, this doesn’t bode well at all for the prosecution or the accuser. Not to mention…“ewww” and “bleck”
Leaving aside the chaotic history this woman brings with her (after all, being a criminal doesn’t disqualify you from being a rape victim- just visit a men’s prison) the prosecution must show some proof a crime actually occurred at the party. Ultimately defense attorneys will start forcing the prosecution to face hard questions about the time line and facts in this case. I don’t doubt that justice will prevail and may I win the lottery if a rape actually occurred, because it sure isn’t shaping up that way.
From a men’s rights perspective, guilty or innocent this story definitely depicts the discrimination men face when it comes to accusations of violence. The Duke team was guilty until proven innocent. My sympathy to actual victims of rape. May you have the courage to start asking for prosecution against the frauds who abuse the serious nature of this crime for whatever grotesque advantage they might glean from it.
In other news, Duke Lacrosse shirts are said to be selling out daily. I guess the public understands the concept of DNA as having more credibility than the stripper. Suffice to say that if a crime did occur- I make no excuse for them and I would want that crime prosecuted- along with any conspirator for hiding it.
The nation's most notorious racist made this offer to the stripper. "The Reverend Jesse Jackson says his Rainbow/Push Coalition will pay the college tuition for a black stripper who has made rape allegations against white members of the Duke University lacrosse team. And the offer stands even if it turns out she fabricated her story."
Last year, federal income taxes totaled $932 billion, or about $6,650 per employee, says economist Mike Evans, "But people paid $1.286 trillion in other federal taxes, mostly Social Security taxes. And - keep those calculators going - the state and local tax bill totaled $1.14 trillion. Directly or indirectly, employees and proprietors paid this entire bill of $3.358 trillion, or almost $24,000 per employee. Total compensation earned by employees and individual proprietors last year was about $8.2 trillion, so, by my calculation, this means 40 percent of your income went to various government agencies."
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
For years victim advocates have been saying that threatening bogus cases (ie fraudulently charging rape) with criminal prosecution will make a rape victim less likely to come forward.
News flash: Every bogus case that shows up makes it tougher for legitimate cases to be prosecuted. We are all potential jurors and we all watch these bogus cases unfold.
update: An article on Fox points out the obvious but interesting trend here. Thus far 70% of the press interviews have been with the prosecution and attempts to smear the character of the defendants. Meanwhile, other details emerge about serious holes in the accuser's story. Methinks the accuser may have had some less than stellar coaching from Kate Faber. Odd that nobody is pointing out that the injuries are likely consistent of a raunchy stripper entertaining a mob.
While I certainly don't oppose the freedom to throw a wild party like this, NOTHING good ever comes from ANY interaction with a stripper. In the mentality of a stripper, (chaos and crazy are on the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner) this type of accusation is justice for being a bad tipper.
I personally make it a habit to avoid bachelor parties, now I know why
Last month, Oregon cleared the way for the implementation of tough new vehicle emissions standards here in Washington state. Last year, the Washington Legislature handed over its sovereignty to the Oregon Legislature. In a move to distance backlash against promoters, the Washington Legislature passed a measure implementing California’s stringent emissions standards, but only when Oregon instituted the stricter standards.
A few weeks ago, an Oregon judge upheld a move by Gov. Ted Kulongoski and Oregon environmental officials to adopt California's tough new vehicle-emission standards. In doing so, the court validated the program in Oregon, triggering the implementation of the program here in Washington state.
Auto manufacturers say the standards won't make cars that much cleaner but could add as much as $3,000 to the cost of a new vehicle.
The effects of smog are visible to the naked eye in California’s metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area where smog is trapped by the surrounding mountains, and Sacramento, where the exhaust of hundreds of thousands of vehicles is accentuated by the 100+ degree heat. Unlike in Washington state, rain rarely cleans the air down there between May and November, allowing the exhaust particles to remain suspended above cities.
Here in Washington, there are far fewer vehicles and the environment is much more capable of compensating for the emissions with the amount of rain and vegetation we have. While we must responsibly care for our natural resources, which may include emissions standards, the solution is to debate the subject in public, not shirk and disguise responsibility to others, particularly another state.
"Instead of a transformative nation with an identity all its own, America increasingly sees itself in this new light as preservative of diverse alien identities -- groups ineradicable in their ethnic character." He asserts, by way of inquiry, "Will the melting pot give way to the Tower of Babel?"
Each person’s heritage is very important and a part of their personality, but how does it affect our unity and national cohesiveness? What is the proper balance between insisting others accept us and us accepting accepting others? Or do they go hand-in-hand?
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Sadly, neither will get much attention in this race and even sadder is the prospect that neither has the courage to run against a sitting judge -where they would get GREAT coverage, INCREDIBLE funding and statewide media attention.
I spoke to both in the 2004 race and either would make a decent judge IMO. However in light of what appears to be unfolding, both lose a great amount of credibility for the ambition to seek a position of power through the path of least possible resistance.
Come on already- someone run against the legislators and constitution burners in our County's court!
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
With regards to pro ANWR drillers lining up for MgGavick camp Cantwell has this to say
"Cantwell's campaign manager, Mark Butler, was critical of the fundraiser's guest list. "We knew big insurance was subsidizing the McGavick campaign, now we know that big oil is, too," he said in a statement."
Let's review Maria's track record and positions on energy.
- You don't get us money for roads and thus we get a 9 cent gas tax increase.
- You don't let us drill for oil
- You aren't helping us find ways to make nuclear power viable.
- You stood silent while Enron screwed us by way of California and then did the polka on their grave.
That's a real bang up job on energy policy. Glad I have a wood stove and work via a broadband connection, not sure about the rest of the folks though.
Maria, exactly what do you claim to be doing for our state?
In order to keep our good county safe, we have to make sure every action and use of your property is approved by the county. Just because you bought that land, doesn't mean you have a right to do anything with it. So Mrs Peabody. we know you had planned on selling your pies and cakes to be able to make the property tax payments, but you must first pay the county $4000 for a permit.
We can't have the rest of the county subsidizing your business with a low permit fee, nor can we starve our government for the valuable services needed to serve your business (don't ask what that is, because it's just a hypothetical service to protect your neighbors and customers).
BTW, if you complain about the illegal dump site/meth lab next door one more time, we will slap you with a property tax surcharge for being a high cost citizen.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
"The Cooper Point speedway is now open." says local black robe.
UPDATE: The judge was Pomeroy. Until now I've been neutral on Pomeroy being certifiably crooked with the others in that court house. Forget about ever expecting justice or equal treatment or justice in these courts.
The following was posted on the Zero's comment section:
"I worked at the Thurston County Juvenile Detention for nearly 10 years starting in the early 90's. I saw 3 cases of Vehicular Homicide charged against 16 year olds. 2 were young men (1 white 1 hispanic)with no previous criminal record. They were from poor families who had public defenders. They were all both to Green Hill School (kid prison) until they were 18. 1 was a young white girl from a middle class family with a private attorney, she got 30 days in county juvey... Same as Sierra...So for those of you who keep venting about juvenile justice system, it isn't the system itself that is flawed. The fact is if you are a white girl from middle or upper middle class family you can do anything you want and (because Juvenile Justice leaves ALOT of latitude for the judges and judges dont like to lock up teenage girls) it is unlikely that you will be punished. If you were to look at all the Juvenile cases that go through Thurston County Family Court you would see that girls are less likely to be punished then boys, and upper middle class kids get locked up less than poor kids... end of story--.C.P. "
Now this is supposed to be a cost recovery for growth. How is introducing a county business license (which we already pay the state for) a cost recovery?
The county does NOTHING for businesses, except to collect a portion of sales tax revenue. So is this a cost recovery fee on collecting taxes?
Myself and one person from the Master Builders showed up to this hearing. There were 10+ county employees present. The county clarified that the business license fee I referenced is for hulk storage only (not specified on the increase).
While we should be in favor of the permit program being self sustaining, I would think more of us would question why it costs the county $250 to grant you the right to use your own property for a business. No matter it will cost you over $1000 dollars now.
Also of interest is the CAO administrative review, which will jump from $265 to $1444. Yowza- I guess that will add another $10k to add a bedroom for junior because there is a mud puddle on the lot across the road. Thank goodness the county is here to protect us and the environment from ourselves.